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MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 



MEMOIRS OF 
WILLIAM HICKEY 



EDITED BY 

ALFRED SPENCER 



VOL. 1 
(1749-1775) 



'SEVENTH 



LONDON 

HURST y BLACKETT, LTD. 
PATERNOSTER HOUSE, E.C< 



EDITOR'S NOTE 

IT! HE original MS. of these Memoirs covers many hundreds 
-*- of closely written foHoTpages, yet only two or three 
corrections have heen made in it, and it has the appearance 
of being a clean copy, most laboriously made by Hickey 
himself from a rough draft. The author apparently did 
not contemplate its publication, though his introductory 
remarks give one the impression that he expected it to in- 
terest his friends. The present volume forms but a part 
of the Memoirs, which are of such length that one or two 
further volumes will be necessary to complete them. 

In its original form the MS. runs on almost without a 
break. For easier reading it has been divided into chapters 
and freely paragraphed. Parts of the MS. have been 
eliminated, but where any considerable portion has been 
omitted, the reason for the omission will be found in a foot- 
note. Otherwise the narrative is given in the author's own 
words. 

Hickey, as will be seen, has something to say of many 
well-known men of the time with whom he was brought into 
contact, and perhaps not the least interesting feature of his 
Memoirs is the fact that his father, of whom we hear so much 
was a friend of Edmund Burke, and one of the group of 
public men characterized by Goldsmith in his famous 
"Retaliation" 



vl MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM 

Efforts have been made to obtain copies of the portraits 
painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds of the author's father and 
sister, referred to on page 309. Unfortunately these por- 
traits cannot be procured at the moment, but it is hoped 
that both of them may find a place in a future volume. 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 



EDITOR'S NOTE . v 

INTRODUCTION . * ix 

CHAPTER 

I. BIETH AND PARENTAGE , , . 1 

II. EARLY SCHOOL DAYS , . . 11 

III. BOYHOOD . f . ... 21 

IV. THE REMOVAL FROM WESTMINSTER SCHOOL . 34 
V. SCHOOL DAYS AT STEEATHAM . 47 

VI. IN TRAINING FOR THE LAW . 55 

VIL BAD HABITS . . . 66 

VIII. LIFE IN BONBON AND A YACHTING EXCURSION 79 

IX. DISGRACED . 95 

X. THE EAST STRAW . . 109 

XL To THE EAST AS A CADET . * .124 

XII. ON BOAED THE " PLASSEY " , . 139 

XIII. INCIDENTS OF THE VOYAGE TO MADRAS . 152 

XIV. MADRAS . . . 163 
XV. THE VOYAGE TO CHINA , , 177 

XVL CANTON . f . . 194 

XVII. LIFE IN CANTON , . . 208 

XVIII. LIFE IN CANTON (continued) , 220 

XIX. TSE BETTJRN TO ENGLAND , . 233 



viii MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM BICKER 

IK AFTER PAGS 

XX, IN LONDON AGAIN . . . 251 

XXI. THE FORBESTS . . . 261 

XXII, ACQUAINTANCES IN TOWN , . . 273 

XXIII. SOME DUELS AND So3iE SAILING . . 287 

XXIV. MOBS OF LIFE IN LONDON f . . 302 
XXV. DRIVEN FBOM HOME . . . 317 

XXVI. OFF TO JAMAICA . . . 330 

INDEX . . . 339 



INTRODUCTION 

T)ETURNING from a very busy and laborious life, 
-*-^ in India, to comparatively absolute idleness, in 
England, and having fixed my abode in a country village, 
with a very limited society, I tlioro experienced the truth 
of an observation I had frequently heard, viz. that want 
of employment is one of the greatest miseries that can be 
attached to a mind not altogether inactive. 

Feeling the full force of this remark, my thoughts 
turned to the strange and varied life I had passed, and tho 
extraordinary scenes I had gone through in different 
quarters of the world ; in contemplating which it occurred 
to mo that I might in some measure fill up a painful vacuum, 
and beguile a few hours on those days when confined to 
the house cither from bad wcailxer, or indisposition, by com- 
mitting to writing tho different events that had happened 
to me during a period of nearly sixty years. 

True it is I had few documents to guide me, and scarcely 
any memorandum whatever to assist in tho execution of 
such a plan, at leawt for the early and greater part of my 
life, yet, trusting to memory alone, I felt convinced I could 
trace back the most material circumstances that had 
happened respecting myself ; and 1 can safely aver, them 
is not a single fact recorded in the following wheels, that 
is not, to tho beat of my knowledge and belief, most truly 
and correctly stated. Equally true it is, and I am perfectly 
aware of it, that such a production cannot bo in any way 

ix 



x MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKBpf 

interesting to those unacquainted with me, and indeed, 
not very much so even to my most attached friends. 
Should, however, these pages at any time fall into 4he 
hands of strangers, be it remembered, that I retraced the 
following circumstances of my life, solely for my own 
amusement, and to fill up some tedious hours that would 
otherwise have hung heavy upon my hands. 




MEMOIRS 
OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

CHAPTER I 

BIKTII AND PARENTAGE 

I WAS born in St. Album Street/ Tall Mail, in thoPuriali 
of St. James, Westminster, on the 30th of June, in the 
year 1749, being the seventh 2 child my parent B had. My 
father was the youngest v son of a numerous family, all Irish, 
sprung from a very ancient and honourable stock, being of 
Milesian descent ; the original name was O'Hickoy, but at 
what period the " " was dropt 1 never heard, nor is it 
of any importance. 

My mother, whose maiden name was Boultou, was of a 
very old and highly respectable family, who for several 
centuries resided in Yorkshire, where- they possessed con- 
siderable landed property. My father and another's was 
a love match, against the consent of her relations, as 
he ran away from his friends in Ireland at the early ago 
of seventeen, in consequence of throwing a leaden inkstand 
at, his, master's head, the said master having, as my father 
conceived, wantonly and grossly insulted him. He was not 
ovcrburthoned with cash at the time ho reached tho capital 
of Great Britain, but he had received the bent of education, 
having been brought up in the "University of Dublin, whom 
he had the reputation of being an uncommonly good 
classical scholar. The gentleman he had been articled to 
was an eminent attorney practising in the City of Caahell, 
the town ^n which my father was born. 

1 St. Albans Street (namod ttfter Houry St. Jermyn, Karl nf SI. AHutuii) win 
from Pall Mall across tho east side of tho prosunt nito of Waterloo J*lu;a in a 
northerly direction, and wn removed on tin* making of Ui^<*nt Slrwt.- KB 

* On his own showing (son p. 3) Iw wan tho eighth* Appwontly he down 
not include a brother who lived but a few hoar*. - KJU. 



2 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICK^Y 

Upon Ms arrival in London my father applied to, and 
was most kindly received by a Mr. Bourke, then residing 
at Plaistow, in Essex, where he carried on business as an 
attorney and solicitor, with mnch credit and advantage 
to himself. This respectable gentleman was the father of 
Mr. William Burke, an intimate friend of my family's, who 
subsequently made a conspicuous figure in public life. With 
Mr. Bourke, of Plaistow, who chose to retain the ' o ' in his 
name, as being the original way of spelling it, my father 
served a regular clerkship, and at the expiration of his five 
years was admitted as an Attorney of the Court of King's 
Bench, and a Solicitor of the Court of Chancery. 

My father's abilities and respectable connection soon 
procured him abundant business, but being naturally of a 
convivial and expensive turn, he was sometimes hard 
pressed in pecuniary matters, and I have often heard him 
say that when he married, which took place after but a 
short courtship, he had no more than five guineas in his 
possession, and was obliged to furnish a house, and procure 
all the requisite establishment of a family man, upon credit ; 
of course he felt all the inconveniences and embarrassments 
arising from such a situation, but never lost his spirits, nor 
was he ever, even at that early period, nor through the 
whole course of a very long life, driven to commit a dis- 
honourable or ungentleman-like action. 

When married only a few months, my father dined 
with a large party at the King's Arms tavern in Pall Mall, 
where, after the whole party had drank freely, it was, at a 
late hour proposed to adjourn to the Eidotto, at the Opera 
house, where it was then the custom to have public hazard 
tables. When the going to the Ridotto was first mentioned, 
my father observed to his friend Colonel Mathews, of the 
Guards, who sat next to him, that he could not be of the 
party, as after paying his proportion of the dinner bill, 
he should have only a few shillings left, whereupon Colonel 
Mathews took out Ms purse, and counted the amount 
therein, which was twenty-four guineas ; of these he gave 
twelve to my father saying, they would play in partnership, 



HIS PARENTAGE 8 

and if fortune was kind, whatever both, or either won 
should be deemed joint stock, and be equally divided be* 
t^en them. Upon these terms they proceeded to the Opera 
house, where my father having in a few minutes lost his 
twelve guineas, went and stood at the back of Colonel 
Mathews's chair, who threw so successfully that by four 
o'clock in the morning he had collected nearly the whole 
amount of cash at the table, upon which they adjourned 
to my father's house in Gerard Street, Soho, and there 
actually divided upwards of three thousand two hundred 
guineas, each having sixteen hundred and odd to MB share* 
This sum laid the foundation of my father's fortune. Ho 
immediately paid every one to whom he was indebted, mid 
after having so done a surplus of several hundred pounds 
remained. 

Soon after this circumstance had occurred, my eWeat 
sister, Mary, was born, being the first child. In duo time 
another came forth who died in early infancy. Next my 
brother Joseph, who in eleven months was followed by a 
boy that lived only a few hours, next, my brother Henry, 
and within the two next years, two othont, who both died 
young. Then I made my appearance, that is to wiy, on tho 
30th of June 1749. 

My god-fathers were the above named Colonel Mat-hewn 
and Mr. Ryan, proprietor of the King'n Arms tavern m 
Pall Mall, then a very fashionable houe, in which he 
(Ryan) acquired a very large fortune. 1 wan soon pro- 
nounced a most lovely child. My mother had Ruckled the 
first three infants herself, but thin being deemed prejudicial 
to her health, she was forbid continuing it, and I was there- 
fore sent to be nursed at Hampstead, at a clean and neat 
cottage, the property of a respectable old woman named 
Pago, from the breast of whose daughter, Ann Pago, (for 
she had married a person of her own name) I drew my first 
nourishment. Ann Page was an uncommonly beautiful 
creature, who almost adored me. 1 have a faint recollection 
when between three and four years of ago, of my brother 
Joseph being highly offended by her kissing a certain 



4 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEF 

substantial part of my body, at the same time telling him, 
that she had much rather Mss my posterior than his face. 

At Hampstead I remained until nearly four years old, 
when my first breeches were put on, and I was then tafen 
away from my dearly loved, "sweet Ann Page," the 
separation from whom wrung my little heart with the first 
sorrow it ever felt, nor did I ever forget her extreme affection 
for me. At the time I thus quitted the arms of my darling 
nurse I was reckoned an uncommonly beautiful boy, and 
I presume not without reason, for I perfectly well remember 
being frequently stopped in the park, and in the streets, by 
females of all sorts, who rapturously kissed me, with ex- 
clamations of surprise at my extraordinary beauty. I may 
now without vanity speak of my infantine perfections as to 
features, all such having long since passed away, for since 
reaching my fourteenth year I became as ugly a fellow as 
need be. 

My God-fathers were both greatly attached to me, 
especially Mr. Ryan, who, as well as his wife, would willingly 
have had me constantly with them, and as my father, 
previous to my birth had removed into St. Albans Street, I 
was frequently at the King's Arms, sometimes with consent, 
often without, for although peremptorily forbid ever to go 
out alone, lest any accident should befall me, I nevertheless 
used to watch my opportunity of finding the street door 
open, and away I darted fast as my little legs would carry 
me to Pall Mall, where I knew I should be permitted to do 
whatever I pleased, and where I was a pet of every individual 
in the house, besides which, I was often noticed and caressed 
by the first people of the Kingdom. It was not however at 
my God-father Ryan's only that I was too much indulged, 
for I was a universal favorite, and it is therefore not to be 
wondered at that I became in some measure a spoiled child. 

My father at the time of my coming into the world had 
got into immense practice in his profession, having the 
honour of being consulted and employed by many of the 
nobility, and persons of the most exalted rank in society. 
He lived expensively, seeing much company, keeping a 



JOHN HAMILTON'S CASE 5 

carriage and several saddle horses, and having a handsome 
country house at Twickenham. This success, though well 
HFrited, drew upon him the envy of some men in the same 
line, particularly that of a Mr. Hervey, who had risen to 
eminence in the profesnion, and by it had acquired a largo 
fortune. He was an unprincipled, arrogant, and self- 
sufficient fellow, and becoming jealous of the high reputa- 
tion my father had acquired, adopted the most vile and 
iniquitous means to effect his rum, by blaBting his character. 
Having found a fit instrument, in a low Irishman, named 
Hamilton, they together trumped up a story wherein they 
accused my father of perjury, upon which they actually 
caused an Indictment to be preferred, and being foiled in 
their villainous attempt, their next endeavour wan (o 
complete their object by a gross libel, published by Hervey, 
in the name of Hamilton, which libel produced the following 
answer from my father. This transaction occurred when 1 
was only two years old, but a perusal of the work I am about 
to set forth, often made my blood boil, when at an age 
competent to judge of the rascality of mankind. 1 

" Hickey against Hamilton and Hervey : or, a proper 
Reply to the Case of John Hamilton, an set forth by hit* 
HONOURABLE SOLICITOR, in relation to the acquittal of 
JOSEPH HICKEY, ATTORNEY. s Mark now how plain a tale 
shall put you down.' 

"It must bo confessed, that few private eluiraetefH or 
private cases arc interesting or important enough to merit 
the attention of the public. But aa his IIONCHIE the 
solicitor in Hamiltou* suit against Mr. Mickey, obwrvrH, 
perjury is so hcinouH and atrodtnw a crimo, he that IUIB 
been accused of it in print, finds himself obliged to wtt 
forth a printed answer. 

"It has been Mr. Hiekey'H misfortune to be Him uo- 
ctisod in two several libek The iirat under the titlo of, 

A LKTTBtt TO A GENTLEMAN IN THR COt'NTRY;' and tliO 

1 AH Iho work hwo referred to, viz. tho "Reply" of tlm \vri(<*r' futto-r 
to John Hamilton^ "Cose" would, If given, occupy very many tuurw 
and would not prova intoreating, tho preamble to it only is mm alumni 
The " Reply" was printed, arid in to be found 00 tJU^ hlv of tb 
oritwh MuAoumu **Jb!o. 



6 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

other under that of, ' THE CASE OE JOHN HAMILTON.' It 
was at first thought expedient to answer both, and both 
were answered accordingly : But on reflecting that the 
letter contained little more than a scurrilous inveet&e 
against the Law and Lawyers, void alike both of argu- 
ments and facts ; and that of all faults tediousness was 
most unpardonable to a reader ; it was resolved to con- 
sider the last only, in which all that was thought material 
to support the charge is to be found. And whether that 
other performance is the case or not, shall now be con- 
sidered." 

Such a transaction as this necessarily occasioned my 
father much uneasiness of mind, and also involved him in 
great expence : he had however the gratification to find 
his conduct throughout the disagreeable business, universally 
approved of, whilst that of Mr. Hervey was generally 
condemned, and ultimately caused his banishment from 
society, and he was actually compelled to leave the Capital, 
and take up his abode in a sequestered part of the country, 
where himself and his base conduct were alike unknown. 

And now, after this digression, to return to myself. With 
all my father's friends and acquaintances I was a great 
favorite ; his military friends declaring I must be a soldier, 
while those of the Navy insisted upon that line being the 
best adapted to such a volatile and high spirited boy as I 
was. By the time I was five years of age, I got the nick name 
of " PICKLE," a name I fear I have through life proved to 
have been but too well applied. My father's own wish 
respecting me was that I should be brought up to the Law, 
to qualify me for which profession, he intended to give me 
the best of education, and in due time have me called to the 
Bar, where he was pleased to say from the quickness of nay 
parts, and excellent talents, he was convinced I should 
make a conspicuous figure. But alas, through life it has 
been my misfortune, or more properly speaking, my fault, 
to mar and disappoint all his views ; his kind and generous 
intentions respecting me. This tendency first betrayed 
itself when I was only seven years old, by my then attaching 



DESTINED FOR THE NAVY 7 

myself to an intimate friend of my family's. Captain Gam- 
bier, (father, I believe, of the present Lord Gambier) who 
wa at that time a Post Captain in the Royal Navy, and 
with whom I declared my positive determination to go, 
no matter where his destination might be* This greatly 
pleased Captain Gambier, but sadly distressed boih my 
father and mother, who, as long as possible opposed my 
going to sea, but at length yielded to the Captain's earnest 
solicitations that they would comply with my inclination 
and wish, to which I obstinately adhered, and in consequence 
I was forthwith entered upon the books of the Burford, a 
74 gun ship, just put into commission and in the course of 
a few months to go to the West Indies, under Captain 
Gambier's command. 

Not having had the small pox, it was considered necessary 
previous to my embarking in my new way of life, to have 
me inoculated, for which purpose I was taken to Twicken- 
ham, where my father had just built and completed a 
handsome spacious mansion, situated close to our celebrated 
poet, Pope's, upon the margin of the Thames at the part 
called Cross Deep, and commanding a charming prospect, 
particularly of Richmond Hill and park. Here I was put 
under a regimen and course of medicine, according to the 
custom of those days, preparatory to inoculation. 

After being dosed for three weeks, a day was fixed for 
performing th6 operation. At the appointed hour, Mr. 
Scott the surgeon and apothecary of the place, attended, 
when lo ! the little patient was nowhere to be found. 
After searching every hole and corner in and about the 
house, the garden, and all my usual haunts, not forgetting 
the boat, in vain, the utmost alarm prevailed. Servants 
were dispatched in every direction round the neighbour- 
hood, but with no better success, no tidings could be ob- 
tained of little Pickle, until it occurred to the gardener to 
take a peep into the wooden habitation of Ccesar, an im- 
mense house dog of the mastiff breed, who though un- 
commonly fierce I could do anything with, and sure enough 
ther$ was I found, snug in the kennel with my trusty friend, 



8 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

and where for above half an hour, whilst making a pillow 
of Casar's shaggy hide, as he slept, I had been laughing at, 
and enjoying the uproar and confusion arising from /ny 
supposed loss. 

Being thus discovered, I was dragged forth, and after 
some upbraidings from my mother for the fright I had 
given her, was taken to my bed chamber, where an incision 
was made in each arm, as if the operator intended to 
cut me up, the wound being at least two inches in length, 
and nearly to the bone, in depth, the scars of which remain 
very visible at the present day. Yet all this butchery 
(which was the mode then universally pursued) was of no 
avail, for owing to the matter being too old, or from some 
other unknown cause, I did not take the infection. 

This was in the summer of 1756. In the month of July 
of that year a large party dined with my father, at Twicken- 
ham, at which were present Lord Cholmondeley, and his 
brother, the General, Sir Charles Sheffield, the owner of the 
Queen's Palace in St. James's park, then called Buckingham 
house, Sir William Stanhope, to whom Pope's place belonged, 
Mr. Simon Luttrell, afterwards Earl of Carhampton, my 
God-father Colonel Mathews, and others. As I was sitting 
upon the knee of the latter, after dinner, having just swal- 
lowed a bumper of claret which he had given me, I, with a 
deep sigh said to him, 

" I wish I was a man." 

"Aye," observed the Colonel, "and pray why so, 
William ? " 

To which I quickly replied, 

" That I might drink two bottles of wine every day." 

This wish, and the reason, being communicated to the 
company made a hearty laugh, and Mr. Luttrell, who was 
a famous hard liver, pronounced that I should live to be a 
damned drunken dog, the rest agreeing that I should 
undoubtedly be a very jolly fellow ! I believe, with no more 
than justice to myself, I may say, the latter prediction, 
as the milder of the two, proved nearest the truth. I 
certainly have at different periods drank very freely, some- 



DEATH OF HIS GOD-FATHER 9 

times to excess, but it never arose from the sheer love of 
wine. Society cheerful companions, and lovely seducing 
wwaen always delighted me and frequently proved my 
bane, but intoxication for itself I detested, and invariably 
suffered grievously from. Spirits of every kind I greatly 
disliked and never touched ; generous wine, in the way 
above mentioned, I had no objection to, preferring claret, 
yet enjoying a bottle of port. 

In the same month of July (1756) my God-father, Mr, 
Ryan, lost his life, by an accident. Having retired from 
business, with a very independent fortune, he had just 
converted his late tavern into ar capital private dwelling 
house, and intended to open the same with a splendid 
entertainment, to which his numerous friends and supporters 
were invited. One of his guests on the morning of the day 
on which the dinner was to be, hearing him lament that he 
should be deprived of his usual ride from his horse being ill, 
offered him the use of his, an offer that was accepted. The 
animal, which was of high blood, being alarmed as he was 
passing the Gate of Hyde park coming into Piccadilly, 
became restive, and threw his rider, who unfortunately 
pitching upon his head on the pavement received a dreadful 
and fatal fracture. He was immediately conveyed into 
St. George's hospital, within a few yards of which the 
accident happened, and where the ablest surgeons of London 
did every thing that could be done, but on the first examina- 
tion of the wound, the case was pronounced desperate, and 
he died within an hour. The corpse was conveyed to his 
house in Pall Mall, where it arrived at the very moment 
several of the gentlemen invited to the dinner were getting 
out of their carriages at the door. Upon the opening of his 
Will the next morning, my family were much disappointed 
at finding me a legatee for only one hundred pounds, as, 
from what he had frequently said with respect to me, and 
considering the uncommon affection he always shewed 
towards me, it was expected he would have bequeathed m 
an infinitely larger sum ; especially as he had no child, 
nor any near relation. He died worth upwards of seventy 



10 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

thousand pounds, the whole of which, with the exception 
of a few legacies, trifling as my own, he left to his wife. 

I was too young to feel any mortification at the smalli&ss 
of the bequest to me, indeed, selfishness never has been 
amongst my numerous faults, but I cried bitterly at the 
loss of one who I felt loved me sincerely, and for years 
afterwards I never passed the house without paying the 
tribute of a sigh to his memory, 




CHAPTER II 

EAKLY SCHOOL DAYS 

MY coat, and all the other paraphernalia of a midship- 
man were now prepared, and a day appointed upon 
which I was to leave London for Portsmouth, with my Com- 
mander, who was to eat his last dinner at my father's, and 
carry me off with him in a post-chaise. He accordingly 
came, and found his young midshipman properly equipped, 
but a circumstance occurred at the dinner that totally 
altered my mind, and put a stop to my intended naval career. 
It was this : I had a natural, and unconquerable antipathy 
to fat of every kind, and never could swallow a morsel. 
This my mother, imagining it to arise merely from caprice, 
did all in her power to make me get the better of, and 
mentioning the circumstance to Captain Gambier, he in- 
stantly said, and in a tone of voice and manner that I did 
not approve of, 

" Oh ! never fear, Madam, when once William and I are 
fairly out at sea, he will forget all his absurd prejudices, 
and I daresay will be glad to have a bit of fat with his 
brother midshipmen." 

From that moment I had done with Captain Gambier, 
and directly exclaimed that I did not like him, and would 
not go to his ship. Ho was astonished, appearing really 
disappointed and vexed. He said and did every thing in 
his power to make mo clmnge my determination, but I 
resolutely adhered to it, protesting he never should have 
it in his power to force me to eat what I abhorred. My 
father and mother too by no means seconding him in 
endeavouring to prevail on me to proceed, he was obliged 
to depart without me. Notwithstanding this capriciousncss 
in me, he continued my name as a midshipman upon the 
Bw ford's books the whole time that ship remained in 

li 



12 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

commission, which was for a period of six years, and when- 
ever he afterwards saw me, used, very good humouredly, 
to call me his little fickle midshipman, adding, that a^my 
rank was still going on, he yet hoped he should live to see 
me in the road to becoming an Admiral. It has since been 
my lot to be very much at sea, but I have never in the 
whole course of my life been able to eat fat, not even that 
of venison, or turtle. 

In the Autumn of this year there came to live with my 
mother a pretty, smart little girl named Nanny Harris, 
who was strongly recommended by the Duchess of Man- 
chester. Her situation in our family was between that of 
a companion and* servant;, in the latter capacity chiefly 
to attend to two young sisters of mine, twins, the last 
children my mother had. The whole of the mornings she 
worked at her needle in the same room with my mother, 
and dined in the Nursery, where she also slept, my bed 
being in an adjoining closet. Nanny Harris at once became 
my delight, and I was no less so hers. Every night when the 
servant had taken away the candle, she used to take me 
to her bed, there fondle and lay me upon her bosom. She 
was as wanton a little baggage as ever existed, and it was 
some years afterwards discovered that the Duchess of Man- 
chester had discarded her for debauching Master Montague 
(her only son) when thirteen years old, which circumstance 
her Grace most improperly omitted to mention, when re- 
commending the girl, as a confidential servant in a private 
family. Upon such conduct I shall make no comment nor 
should I have noticed it at all, but that the ways of Nanny 
Harris strongly influenced me through several years of my 
life. This infatuating jade did not continue much above 
a year in our family. Her amours were too numerous,' and 
too undisguisedly carried on not to be seen by my mother. 
She was consequently discarded with ignominy, and imme- 
diately after went into keeping with a young gentleman of 
fortune, who had seen and admired her whilst living with 
us. I shall have occasion to make further mention of 
this unfortunate girl hereafter. 



AT WESTMINSTER SCHOOL 13 

My father now resumed his hopes that I should fuliil his 
wishes, and that he might possibly live to see me a Chief 
Justice or Lord Chancellor of England, for which purpose 
he exerted his utmost endeavours to lead my young mind 
to look up to, and aspire to those dignified and elevated 
situations. 

The famous poet, Charles Churchill had just at this 
period, published proposals for receiving into his house, and 
educating, for the Universities, six youths of good connec- 
tions and my father had it in contemplation to send me as 
one of the number, but upon consulting some friends 
thereon, particularly Mr. Edmund Burke, with whom, and 
all his family, he lived upon the most familiar terms, 
that gentleman was of opinion that the profligacy and 
immorality of Churchill's private character rendered him a 
most unfit person to undertake the education and training 
of young people, and it wotild seem the same sentiment 
generally prevailed respecting him, as not even a single 
pupil was offered to him. It was then determined that I 
should be sent to Westminster school, preparatory to which 
I was placed at a day school in Charles Street, St. James's 
Square, for the purpose of learning to read and write, as 
well as to acquire the rudiments of the Westminster 
Grammar. 

At Christmas my brother** wore taken from Harrow 
where they had been upwards of two years, and in January 
1757, we all three went to Westminster ; they having made 
some proficiency in Latin, were stationed in the upper 
second, whilst I took my seat in what was denominated, 
" The Idle Class," that is, at the very bottom of the school, 
where all those who have not received some previous in- 
struction in Latin are placed. I however soon got out of 
that disgraceful and ignorant form, passed with rapidity 
and eclat the under and upper petty, and entered into the 
upper first, where most unluckily for me the famous Bob 
Lloyd, the elegant poet and scholar, but dissipated friend 
and companion of the above mentioned Charles Churchill, 
presided as usher. He was an only sou of the worthy and 



U MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

truly respectable Dr. Lloyd, then, and for many subse- 
quent years, the under master, the equally respectable and 
esteemed Dr. Markham, afterwards Archbishop of %>rk, 
(who lately closed a long and honourable life) being the 
head master. 

From some boyish, but mischievous pranks of mine, this 
Reverend gentleman, Mr. Robert Lloyd, though himself 
far from a Saint, took a strong and rooted dislike to me, 
which he had many opportunities of betraying, and in 
consequence of his prejudice he let no occasion pass of 
what is there termed, " shewing me up," that is, con- 
ducting me to his father the Doctor, to procure me a flogging, 
the Ushers having no authority to use the birch, that 
tremendous instrument to school boys, the rod, being within 
the peculiar province of the two Masters only. The culprit 
thus " shewn, up " is never heard in the way of defence, 
the charge, as exhibited by the Usher, is conclusive, and 
the posterior of the unhappy delinquent undergoes a casti- 
gation. This ceremony the frequency of its recurrence in 
no degree reconciled me to, and as I imagined I was often 
unjustly punished, I took a violent dislike to the school, 
and every thing appertaining to it, with the exception of a 
few of the boys, to whom I was greatly and sincerely attached. 
Amongst these, my chief favorites were, Sir Watkin 
Williams Wynne, the father of the present Baronet, and 
Robert Henley, who afterwards succeeded to the title of 
Earl of Northington ; the latter and myself were sworn 
brothers, and many a scrape we mutually got each other 
into. 

The disgust at the harsh treatment I met with pro- 
duced an indifference as to all the school exercises. I 
falsely argued, that as I was to be flogged, it had better 
be for some offence, than without cause ; instead therefore 
of preparing my Theme, Verses, or construing Virgil, I 
loitered away my time in Tothill fields, and St. James's 
park, or if I could muster cash, hired a boat to cruise about 
Chelsea reach ; in most of which excursions my friend 
Henley accompanied me, and consequently came in for 



SCHOOL RECOLLECTIONS 15 

his share of stripes. One of our chief amusements was going 
, to the parade at the Horse Guards, to look at the soldiers 
excising, and at nine o'clock accompanying the daily 
relief in their march to Kensington, where His Majesty 
then resided. 

One of the most severe floggings I received was for 
going on several following days to gratify an idle curiosity 
in staring at a house in Leicester fields, where a murder 
had been committed upon the person of a Mrs. King, 
the owner of the house. This lady had some years before 
been in keeping by a gentleman of large fortune, who, 
upon his death, bequeathed to her an annuity of two or 
three hundred pounds a year, together with the house 
above alluded to, in Leicester fields. For the purpose of 
increasing her income, she let the greater part of this mansion 
out to lodgers, herself occupying the parlours, sitting in 
the front, and using the back one for a bed chamber. In her 
youth she had been an extraordinary fine woman, but at 
the time of her death was rather on the decline, and nearly 
approaching to her fortieth year. She kept only one 
servant, a female. Her first floor was unoccupied, a family 
who had resided there for many months having just left it. 
The second floor was let to a foreigner, I believe a French- 
man, named Gardclle, a quiet, well disposed person, who, 
during a long period he had lodged there, conducted himself 
with the utmost propriety and decorum. He spent much 
of his time with his landlady Mrs. King, and frequently 
drank tea in her apartment. During this friendly inter- 
course she let him into part of the history of her earlier 
years, from the knowledge of which circumstances he at 
length began to think ho might as well avail himself of hei 
former levity of character, and proposed himself to supply 
the place of her discarded patron, a proposal she rejected 
with the utmost disdain. She nevertheless still continued 
to receive and entertain him as a visitor. Thus encouraged, 
he imagined a little gentle violence might effect his amorous 
object, and he determined to make his attack before she 
rose from her bed, with which intention he left his own room 



16 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

between seven and eight o'clock in the morning, when, 
telling the maid servant her mistress would not want her 
for two or three hours, as she seldom rose until after Jten, 
he requested her to go to the most distant part of Holborn, 
there to purchase a particular kind of snuff for him. 

Having thus got rid of the servant, he immediately 
descended to the front parlour, through which he entered 
into the adjoining chamber, where Mrs. King lay asleep. 
Upon his pulling down the bed clothes and kissing her, 
she awoke and screamed. Gardelle greatly alarmed thereat 
told her who he was and that he meant her no harm, 
for the room being in almost utter darkness she could not 
distinguish his features. Upon his so announcing himself, 
she abused him grossly, bidding him instantly quit her 
chamber or she would be the death of him, and being a 
strong, powerful woman, she at the same time gave him so 
severe a blow in his stomach as nearly to knock him back- 
wards and deprive him of all sense. Staggered and appalled 
(as he afterwards described himself to have been from the 
severity of the blow Mrs. King gave him) he seized the poker 
from the fire place, which unfortunately was close at hand, 
and with it struck the unhappy woman so desperate a blow 
on the head that the blood gushed out in a torrent, and she 
fell back on the bed utterly insensible. In absolute despair 
at what he had done and afc perceiving the blood streaming 
down the bed, he concluded he had kiUedTher. His thoughts 
were thereupon occupied entirely as to the best method of 
disposing of the body. After some consideration he drew from 
his pocket a large clasp knife, which opening he instantly 
separated the head from the body, and wrapping up the 
former in one of the already bloody sheets, he carried it down 
stairs, through the kitchen, and deposited it in the dust 
hole, which was in the front area, there covering it care- 
fully over with dust and rubbish. 

By the time he had done this, he expected the maid 
servant might return with the snuff ; he therefore locked 
the parlour door, and putting the key in his pocket sat 
down in the front room of the first floor to wait her 



A TRAGEDY IN LEICESTER FIELDS IT 

arrival, having previously washed his hands to get rid of 
the stains of blood. Upon the maid servant's knocking at 
this* door he went down and let her in, and told her that 
in about half an hour af fcer she left the house, a lady had 
called in a post chaise to inform Mrs. King that a favourite 
sister of hers was suddenly seized with a dangerous illness 
and expressed a very earnest desire to see her, in conse- 
quence of which she (Mrs. King) had hastily packed up a 
few clothes and set out with the lady who brought the 
intelligence, into Herefordshire. He also told her that as 
Mrs. King did nob know how long she might be absent 
she had directed him to pay what wages were due and 
to discharge her, a chair- woman being sufficient to light 
his fire and make his bed as he never ate at home. The 
servant observed that this was a very extraordinary 
manner of turning her off who had committed no offence ; 
however, she added, she had not the least objection to 
leaving such a place, where there was a great deal of 
labour and bad pay. She accordingly collected her 
things together, and in about two hours afterwards left the 
house, but stopped at the next door but one to tell a friend 
who lived there as cook, of the sudden and odd way in 
which she had been discharged. 

Having thus got the house to himself he began to con- 
sider in what manner he should dispose of the unfortunate 
woman's body. After various pkns that hastily occurred 
to his mind he finally resolved upon burning it, as the most 
likely way to leave no trace of the transaction. To carry 
which purpose into effect he dragged the mangled corpse 
from the back parlour, up stairs into one of the garrets, 
where he kindled a fire. Then cutting the body into small 
pieces he thus consumed it, but the fireplace being very 
small the process was of course slow and he was six days in 
completing his horrid task, during which period he never 
onco wont outside of the street door, subsisting himself 
upon the food that happened to be prepared at the time of 
the fatal transaction. After being taken into custody he 
declared that during the whole of those six days the agita- 



18 MEMOIRS OP WILLIAM HICKEY 

tion of Ms mind was so great that he totally lost all 
appetite and did not believe he ate an ounce a day, nor 
ever drank anything but water. 

On tie sixth evening, having made a larger fire than 
usual, to complete his miserable object, some of the neigh- 
bours observing a prodigious smoke bursting from the top 
of the chimney, apprehended it was on fire and in conse- 
quence they knocked loudly at the door, when no one 
answering, their fears were confirmed, and after consult- 
ing what was best to be done, it was agreed to force the 
street door and examine the house. This was accordingly 
done. Upon entering the front parlour they saw the 
marks of blood in several places upon the floor, and 
from under the door of the adjoining room, where it 
was known Mrs. King always slept, they also perceived a 
stream of blood running, whereupon they broke that door 
open likewise, when from the state of the room it was but 
too evident that murder had been committed. A general 
search instantly took place throughout the house, and 
Gardelle was discovered in the garret sitting in a mont 
disconsolate state by the fire. Being charged with having 
committed the murder, he directly confessed that he had 
put the unfortunate woman to death, describing the mannor 
in which he had disposed of the body, adding, that the 
head of the deceased would be found in the dust hole, ho 
having intended to consume that and the sheet of tho bed 
in which it was wrapped, the following morning. The dust 
hole being examined, the head was there found in the manner 
he had described he had placed it. 

Being taken before a Magistrate, after a scrupulous 
examination into the circumstances of the case, ho was 
committed to Newgate, and at their next Sessions, being 
brought to trial, he was convicted and sentenced to death. 
He did not deny the fact but declared, when he went down 
to Mrs. King's room he had no more idea of committing 
murder than he had of mounting the throne of Great 
Britain, that he was so astonished at the resistance she 
made and the violent blow she gave him, as not to 



TWIN SISTERS 19 

know what tie did at the moment, and in his fright 
conceiving she would kill him, he with a view merely to 
defend himself, seized the poker which unluckily stood 
within his reach and struck the fatal blow, which blow he 
at the time imagined had killed her, under which impression 
his sole object then became to evade discovery and to 
dispose of the body. Being asked why he had not during 
so long a period attempted to escape when there was no one 
to oppose his so doing, instead of staying so many days in 
the house to consume the corpse, he replied that he had at 
three different times attempted it, having actually descended 
the stairs and got into the passage leading to the street 
door, for the purpose of leaving the house, when there 
always appeared to be an armed man standing close to the 
door who opposed his progress, in consequence of which he 
abandoned his purpose and returned to the garret. 

This unfortunate man was executed in the Haymarket, at 
the corner of Panton Street. He would have suffered upon 
the spot opposite the house wherein he had committed the 
murder, but that it immediately faced the then residence 
of some of the Royal family in Leicester House. After 
execution the body was cut down and conveyed to Hounslow 
heath where it was hung in chains. The gibbet being in the 
course of my morning rides from Twickenham, I about two 
years afterwards passing under it, like an inconsiderate 
foolish boy, struck at the remains of the skeleton and 
actually knocked off the toes from one of the feet. For 
many weeks after the discovery of the murder a large mob 
assembled in front of the house, every person in turn putting 
their noses to the keyhole of the front door when each 
individual went away perfectly satisfied that they smelt the 
burning of the flesh and bones. The house remained un- 
tenanted for several years, but the story being at last for- 
gotten it became once more inhabited and still continues so. 

My mother had, I think, five children within the eight 
years after my birth, who all died in early infancy. In 1758 
she was delivered of the twins before mentioned, both 
girls, who were born within ten minutes of each other, and 



20 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

so alike that a ribbon was put round the arm of the eldest, 
to distinguish her from her sister. These twins were chris-^ 
tened Ann and Sarah, and are both still living. The liken<Ss 
however did not continue long ; Ann became an erect, 
slim, and beautiful figure, whilst Sarah remained a fat 
jubsy as she still is. 

In the summer of this year, Earl Ferrers was brought to 
trial for killing Mr. Johnson, his steward, the preparations 
for which trial in Westminster hall was a source of much 
amusement to us Westminsters. His Lordship being found 
guilty and sentenced to death, Henley and I agreed to 
attend the execution and did so. His Lordship was con- 
veyed to Tyburn in his own landau, dressed in a superb 
suit of white and silver, being the clothes in which he was 
married, his reason for wearing which was that they had 
been his first step towards ruin, and should attend his 
exit. In compliment to his peerage he was hung by a silk 
halter, a common cord being covered with black silk, and 
instead of a cart driving from under him, a stage or plat- 
form was erected, upon a trap door in which he stood, and 
on his dropping a handkerchief from his hand, the trap was 
lowered and he of course became suspended. He met 
death with fortitude, though many persons said there was 
a wildness in his eyes and countenance that strongly in- 
dicated a deranged mind, 



CHAPTER III 

BOYHOOD 

^BOUT a year after I had been at Westminster, my father 
. got a prize in the State Lottery, which he said, although 
he always put himself in fortune's way, was the only one he 
ever had, and this one instance of luck he owed to a man 
named Edmund Watts, who had lived with him a dozen 
years as a footman. Watts had been brought up in the 
family of an old friend of my father's, a Mr. Charlton, who 
upon his death bed consigned him (Watts) to my father's 
care, and he proved an affectionate and faithful servant. 
The drawing of the lottery being within a few days of con- 
cluding and the largest prize continuing in the wheel, made 
the price of tickets uncommonly high, which made my father 
resolve to sell his, as he should thereby secure a gain of 
twenty pounds. He accordingly delivered the ticket to 
Watts, desiring him to go to a Lottery office and sell it. 
Enquiring the following morning whether this had been 
done, Watts answered he had been too late. My father 
thereupon ordered him immediately to search if it still 
remained undrawn, and if it did to sell it. Watts again 
left home, and remained abroad until near the usual hour 
of dining, when he returned with the ticket still unsold, 
My father was very angry that his orders were not obeyed 
and swore that if Watta did not dispose of the ticket, 
pursuant to his orders, that day, he would make him 
responsible for the then value of it. Directly after dinner 
Watts sallied forth fully determined to sell the ticket, when 
searching at the office he daily frequented, he had the satis- 
faction to be told it had been drawn that morning a prize 
of one thousand pounds. Delighted at the success attend- 
ing his obstinate perseverance in omitting to sell tho ticket 
as orderedj he ran home to communicate the pleasing news a 

21 



22 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Shortly after this circumstance had occurred, Mr. Francis 
Charlton, a son of Watts* old master, wrote from India i^ 
desire Watts would come out to him, as he should have it in 
his power to put him in the way of making a moderate 
fortune in a few years. In consequence of this letter, my 
father applied to the Court of Directors, and obtained free 
Merchants Indentures for Watts, with liberty to proceed 
on one of their ships to Bengal. Besides which he equipped 
him with a sufficient stock of clothes and paid his passage 
money ; an act of generosity and kindness Watts always 
very gratefully acknowledged ; and my father had the 
gratification fifteen years afterwards to see him return 
to his native country with a handsome independence, 
where he married a woman to whom he had been attached 
from early youth, and lived happily for several years, having 
departed this life but lately. 

On the 22nd of October 1760, I had intended to skip 
school, and take the usual march with the Guards to Ken* 
sington, but knowing that I was too early for the parade, I 
was sauntering about the Abbey between seven and eight 
o'clock in the morning, when I heard an elderly gentleman 
address an acquaintance of his who was looking at the 
monuments, and after the common salutation, asked him 
if he had heard the news, to which being answered in the 
negative, he added, " The King is dead, I saw a messenger 
who brought the intelligence to Whitehall just now. His 
Majesty was seized with an apoplectic fit at six o'clock this 
morning, and died in half an hour." Upon hearing this I 
instantly ran into school, where Mr. Hinchliff, (afterwards 
Bishop of Peterborough) was the only Usher then present, 
and I roared out, " The King's dead," whereupon Mr. 
Hinchlifi came up to me, and taking hold of my ear, said, 
" What's that you say, young man ? Do you know you are 
liable to be hanged for treason ? " Whilst I was explaining 
the manner in which I had gained the information, Doctors 
Markham and Lloyd entered the school, announcing the 
melancholy event, and as certain official situations which 
they respectively held, made their personal attendance 



DEATH OF GEORGE II 23 

requisite, an immediate adjournment of school took place, 
when tho boys, unmindful of the sad event that had occa- 
sfcned the unexpected " early play," set up a loud huxza, 
according to custom when a holiday out of the common 
course was obtained, the technical term for which was 
" an early play." 

Early in the year 1761, Mr. Thomas Hieky, an old ac- 
quaintance of my father's, came over from Ireland. This 
gentleman was an opulent merchant of Dublin. After 
being a fortnight with us in St. Albaus Street, ho took a 
great liking to my brother Henry, and proposed to my 
father to bring him up to his business, for which purpose 
he would receive him as an apprentice, and at tho expiration 
of his clerkship would admit him a partner. This oiler 
was too advantageous not to be readily accepted of, and 
Henry being much pleased with it he in another month 
took his departure for Dublin with his new master. During 
four years they agreed wonderfully well, at the end oi 
which period Henry, getting into bad company, often stayed 
out all night, which occasioned remonstrances, without effect, 
whereupon Mr. Micky told him that if he persisted in such 
evil courses, they must part. A temporary reform then 
took place and all went on smoothly. Tho time of servitude, 
(five years), being nearly out, Mr. Micky, who wan a bigoted 
papist, proposed to my brother to become a Roman Catholic, 
observing, that upon his doing so, ho would give him his 
niece in marriage, take him into partnership, and at his 
death would leave him his heir. This advantageous offer 
Henry, upon principle, rejected, not thinking it correct to 
abandon tho religious tenets in which ho had been brought 
up, and he had the more merit in this from the greatness 
of the temptation, for besides the pecuniary consideration 
the proposed bride was every thing a man could wish for. 
The old zealot was enraged at Henry's refusal, and desired 
he would instantly quit his house for ever, which ho accord- 
ingly did, and forthwith launched out into every species of 
extravagance and dissipation the City of Dublin admitted 
of. Within a twelvemonth the young lady died, and her 



24 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

uncle survived only a few months, leaving nearly two hun- 
dred thousand pounds sterling to different public charities^ 

Upon Henry's return to England, after the above failjrJfc 
in the Irish scheme, my father, through the interest of the 
Earl of Egmont, procured him a situation of two hundred 
and fifty pounds per annum, in the Victualling office, 
but such an income as that proved very inadequate to the 
style of living Henry had engaged in. He had connected 
himself with many of the gay adventurers of London, men 
who lived by their wits ; that is nobody knew how, though 
some of them kept carriages, race horses, and establish- 
ments of the most expensive kind. Amongst the most 
conspicuous of these gentry was Major Walter Nugent, of 
His Majesty's Corps of Marines, whose fate it had been to 
fight several duels, although there never existed a milder 
or better tempered person than he was. Henry's other chief 
companions were, Tethrington, the notorious Dick England, 
Gilly Mahon, Swords, Wall, and many more of the same 
description ; with all of whom I, as a fine forward youth, 
was in high favour, and many a bumper of champagne and 
claret have I drank in the society of this set, at taverns 
and brothels, accompanied by the most lovely women of 
the Metropolis, and this before I had completed my four- 
teenth year. 

After such an account of the males of the party, I 
scarcely need add that their resources arose from gambling, 
but it is no more than common justice to say, all, and 
each of them invariably discouraged me by every means 
and every argument in their power from ever playing, 
and whenever they were about to commence hazard I was 
always sent away. The consequence was, and has been 
through life, that I have never felt the least inclination to 
gamble, and have at least escaped the evils attending that 
vice. Would it were in my power to say the same of many 
other vices, especially those of women and wine, but truth 
will not admit of it ; in those two excesses I have too freely 
indulged. 

My brother Henry's follies cost him many a painful. 



HENRY HICKEYVS FOLLIES 25 

many a melancholy day, and ultimately were the cause 
^>f his death. He continued the style of life, and in the 
society above mentioned until the year 1770, when, in a 
drunken riot, he being one of a party that sallied forth 
from Mrs. Harrington's Bagnio at Charing Cross, brim full 
of burgundy, and at a late hour of the night, an affray 
suddenly arose in the street in which a man was unfor- 
tunately killed, being, as it was imagined, run through the 
body by England. The consequence was the whole set 
immediately secreted themselves, and my brother Henry 
receiving information the following morning, that he was 
particularly named to the Magistrate before whom an 
account of the transaction had been officially laid, thought 
it prudent to leave the country and set off for Paris ; though 
he afterwards often assured me by letter and orally, in 
the most solemn manner, that he neither drew his sword s 
nor struck a single blow, and had nothing at all to do with 
the unlucky accident further than being one of the company. 
After spending a few months at Paris, he went and 
settled with a respectable Abbe, at Caen, in Normandy, 
in which retirement he made himself a proficient in the 
French language, and passed the only three quiet, in- 
offensive, and happy years of his life. 

The widow of the unfortunate man who lost his life 
having, long after the circumstance occurred, accepted a 
pecuniary compensation from some of the party, engaged 
never to prosecute any of them on account of her husband's 
death, which being communicated to my brother Henry, 
he and the others who had fled returned to England, when 
my father, being at a loss what to do with his said son, 
at last obtained a cadetship for him in the East India 
Company's army at Madras, and at the end of the year 
1773 he embarked for Fort St. George, on board the Cole- 
broolce, which ship struck on a sunken rock going into 
False Bay, at the Cape of Good Hope, and was totally lost, 
the passengers and crew being all saved by the boats of 
the fleet in company. My brother, after a long and disas- 
trous voyage, reached his destined port of Madras, but 



26 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

though, in the prime of life with respect to years, he was, 
*owing to the excesses already alluded to, very old in co^-" 
stitution, his whole system being so shaken and enervated 
that he could not stand the sudden and violent change of 
climate. In six months after his arrival a fever proved 
fatal to him. 

In detailing these latter circumstances relative to my 
Drother Henry, I have carried my narrative to its conclusion 
with some anticipation as to the order of time, as I have 
also done in some other instances hereinafter. To return 
therefore to the year 1761, in the month of January of 
which year my elder brother (Joseph) left Westminster 
school, and was articled to my father as an Attorney. I 
continued at the school, but as well might I have been any- 
where else, for I never attended to the books I read, further 
than barely to enable myself to pass through the daily 
examination, which was in fact a mere ceremony, the Master 
seldom observing whether the book was open or shut. I 
however, notwithstanding all my idleness and inattention, 
reached the upper fourth, and of course had commenced 
Greek, the whole of which, as also the Latin I acquired, 
has long since so far escaped my memory that I should 
find it difficult to translate a single sentence of either 
Horace or Virgil. 

In the middle of the year 1761, I beKeve during the 
Whitsuntide holidays, two circumstances occurred at 
which I have since frequently laughed very heartily : one 
happened in London, the other at Twickenham. My father 
had an acquaintance named Joy, a very testy and surly old 
fellow : as I had never seen him, I knew not of a strange 
trick he had previous to uttering any sentence of saying, 
" tut, tut, tut, tut " four or five times, after which out 
came what he wished to express without further hesitation 
or difficulty. This gentleman called one morning in St. 
Albans Street, and upon the door being opened by a 
servant, seeing me playing in the passage, he instead of 
enquiring of the servant, addressed ine, with his usual, 
" Tut, tut, tut, tut, is your father at home, my little man," 



THOMAS HUDSON THE PAINTER 27 

to which I instantly and pertly replied, " Tut, tut, tut, tut, 
-K^my big man, 55 whereupon he gave me so hearty a box 
on 'the side of the face as actually to knock me down, and 
calling me an insolent and impertinent Jackanapes, he 
walked away ; nor could he ever aft-erwards bear the sight 
of me. 

The other prank had more of mischief on my part 
in it. My father's next door neighbour, on the left, at 
Twickenham, was Mr. Hudson, the portrait painter, to 
whom the celebrated artist, Sir Joshua Reynolds, had been a 
pupil. His figure was rather grotesque, he being uncommonly 
low in stature, with a prodigious belly, and constantly 
wearing a large white bushy perriwig. He was remarkably 
good tempered, and one of my first rate favorites, not- 
withstanding he often told me that I should certainly come 
to be hanged. I was always playing my monkey tricka 
with him, and thereby getting into disgrace. He was one 
day chatting with my father upon the lawn, and leaning 
his body forward upon a thick cane he used in walking. 
Upon observing the slanting direction of this cane, it 
occurred to me that a slight touch would give him a glorious 
tumble. The idea, and carrying it into execution were of 
the same moment. With all the force I could muster, I 
kicked the stick near the bottom. Away it went, and down 
came poor Hudson upon his fat paunch, with a tremendous 
grunt. I was terrified at my own feat, which however, 
having accomplished, I considered a retreat the next wisest 
measure for me to adopt, and accordingly took to my heels. 
Well it was perhaps that I did so, for the old gentleman in a 
violent rage, raising himself upon his knees, seized the stick 
and with all the strength he could exert in that posture, 
sent it flying at me ; he however missed his aim, it passed 
without effect, and by the attempt I avoided a flogging, 
for my father who was seriously offended at this malicious 
trick, would have thrashed me soundly, but on seeing the 
heavy cane fly close to my head, he observed to Mr. Hudson, 
that as he had endeavoured to revenge himself, and h&d 
his object succeeded might have done me a serious injury, 



28 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

that attempt should secure me from the punishment my 
wickedness deserved, and which I undoubtedly shojj^l 
otherwise have undergone. I was really and truly sorry 
for what I had done. Mr. Hudson I greatly respected, 
and doing him the slightest injury never entered my head. 
Feeling as I did the fault I had committed, I expressed my 
contrition and sorrow in a manner that highly pleased him, 
and he being a very different sort of man to Mr. Joy, he 
readily and kindly forgave me, and the nest day we were 
as good friends as ever. 

Whenever I was at Twickenham I passed much of my 
time upon the water, rowing about in a boat of my father's, 
and when I could get a companion as I could not alone 
manage sailing. In one of these excursions, having a Mr. 
William Cane, (of whom I shall hereafter have occasion to 
speak much) and a first cousin of mine, John Edwards, 
then a Lieutenant of infantry, with me, we were running 
up against the stream at a quick rate, when the boat, from 
a sudden gust of wind, taking a deep heel, I tumbled over- 
board and down I went, but as I had the sheet of the sail 
in my hand at the time, on my quitting it upon falling into 
the water, the sail blew about loose, which kept the boat 
nearly stationary. Edwards, who swam tolerably well, 
jumped over to endeavour to recover me. I rose twice, as 
Cane said, and was just again sinking when, my cousin 
caught hold of me by the hair, and with Mr. Cane's assistance 
got me into the boat when nearly exhausted. 

In consequence of this accident I was forbid going 
upon the water, but never very obedient to orders that 
I did not approve or considered tyrannical, I found fre- 
quent opportunities of taking a cruise, to put an end to 
which my father's next measure was securing the boat 
with an iron chain and padlock. This unjust step, as I 
pronounced it, only set my wits to work. I recollected 
that Mr. Hindley, who possessed a house late the property 
of Lord Radnor, a short distance from ours, had a small 
canoe, which was kept in a narrow channel, or creek of 
the Thames, opposite hii hous, merely m a pretty object 



ADVENTURES ON THE THAMES 29 

for the eye. This I conceived would answer my purpose, 
a$jd I prevailed on the gardener not only to let me have the 
use" of it, but to make me a double feathered paddle to 
work it with, which, when ready I began my manoeuvres, 
taking special care until I became used to my ticklish 
vessel, not to venture into deep water. This canoe was 
just my own length, only fifteen inches wide, and of so 
tottering a nature that bending my body to the right or to 
the left would endanger the upsetting it. During my practice 
I got many a ducking, but in a few weeks I became so 
expert in the management of it that I with confidence 
ventured into deep water. Both ends were exactly of the 
same form, so that I could go either way without turning ; 
it had no seat, I therefore placed myself as nearly in the 
centre as I could, and working the feathers of the paddle 
alternately, went on at a quick rate. Having thus accom- 
plished the perfect management of my little vessel, the 
next object I had in view was unexpectedly to exhibit 
myself in it, and thereby dreadfully to alarm my fond 
mother for the safety of her darling boy, to effect which 
cruel and ungrateful purpose, I fixed upon a day when 
company were to dine at our house, who being assembled 
and walking upon the lawn previous to dinner, I embarked 
at Lord Radnor's and going round an Island suddenly 
made my appearance in the middle of the Thames, opposite 
my father's, to the infinite terror and alarm of my dear 
mother, but even this did not satisfy me, for laying myself 
flat along in the canoe, the whole party concluded the 
bottom had given way and that I was gone, never more to 
appear. A loud and general scream ensued from the party ; 
servants were dispatched in all directions to procure 
assistance ; our own boat, Mr. Hindley's, Sir William 
Stanhope's, Mr. Hudson's, and two fishermen's punts were 
in a few minutes all in motion, pulling away to endeavour 
to recover my little carcase. When I heard their oars near 
my canoe, to the utter astonishment of those on board 
them, up I rose on my breech. My father was excessively 
angry at this prank, but my mother's joy was so great at 



80 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

seeing me safe that she proved a successful advocate in 
obtaining my pardon. My friend Mr. Hudson took thaj- 
opportunity of once more remarking there was not tne 
least danger of my being drowned, fate having decreed me 
a very different end. 

Very soon after the above mentioned trick, I had 
another very narrow escape from a watery grave. I was 
paddling away close to the Island I have already spoken 
of, when sticking the end of the paddle into the bank 
to shove the canoe forward, the soil, being a stiff clay, 
made such a resistance as instantly to upset my tottering 
craft, and I was immersed in at least eight feet of water, 
under a perpendicular bank, and here my career would 
have ended had it not been for a fisherman named Rogers, 
who happened to be near the spot at the time in his 
punt, arranging baskets for catching eels, and seeing me in 
the water he instantly came to my assistance and picked 
me up. I had other escapes from perilous situations I got 
into with my canoe, which made my father think it would 
be better to indulge me with a boat of a safer kind : he 
accordingly ordered a small wherry to be built expressly 
for my use, in which I used to row myself up and down to 
and from Twickenham and London, a distance from the 
windings of the river of at least eighteen miles. Sculling 
this boat up in the Spring of the year, when the freshes 
prevailed was an arduous and fatiguing task ; I have often 
been tugging with all my might for five hours between 
Kew and my father's house. 

The Coronation of His present Majesty being fixed for 
the month of September, my father determined that all his 
family should be present at the ceremony. He therefore 
engaged one of the Nunnery's, as they are called, in West- 
minster Abbey, for which he paid fifty guineas. They are 
situated at the head of the great columns that support 
the roof, and command an admirable view of the whole 
interior of the building. Upon this occasion they were 
divided ofi by wooden partitions, each having a separate 
entrance with lock and key to the door, with ease holding a 



CORONATION OF GEORGE HI 81 

dozen persons. Provisions, consisting of cold fowls, ham, 
tongues, different meat pies, wines, and liquors of various 
sfcrts were sent in to the apartment the day before, and two 
servants were allowed to attend. Our party consisted of 
my father, mother, brother Joseph, sister Mary, myself, 
Mr. and Miss Isaacs, Miss Thomas, her brother (all Irish), 
my uncle and aunt Boulton, and their eldest daughter. 
We all supped together in St. Albans Street on the 21st of 
September, and at midnight set off in my father's coach 
and my uncle's, and Miss Thomas's chariot. At the end 
of Pall Mall the different lines of carriages, nearly filling 
the street, our progress was consequently tedious, yet the 
time was beguiled by the grandeur of the scene, such a 
multitude of carriages, with servants behind carrying 
flambeaux, made a blaze of light equal to day, and had a 
fine effect. 

Opposite the Horse Guards we were stopped exactly an 
hour without moving onward a single inch. As we ap- 
proached near the Abbey, the difficulties increased, from 
mistakes of the coachmen, some of whom were going 
to the Hall, others to the Abbey, and getting into the 
wrong ranks. This created much confusion and running 
against each other, whereby glasses and panels were de- 
molished without number, the noise of which, accompanied 
by the screeches of the terrified ladies, was at times truly 
terrific. 

It was past seven in the morning before we reached 
the Abbey, which having once entered, we proceeded 
to our box without further impediment, Dr. Markham 
having given us tickets which allowed our passing by a 
private staircase, and avoiding the immense crowd that was 
within. We found a hot and comfortable breakfast ready, 
which I enjoyed, and which proved highly refreshing to us 
all ; after which some of our party determined to take a 
nap in their chairs, whilst I, who was well acquainted with 
every creek and corner of the Abbey, amused myself 
running about the long gallery until noon, when notice 
being given that the procession had begun to move, I 



82 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

resumed my seat. Exactly at one they entered the Abbey, 
and we had a capital view of the whole ceremony. Tlujr 
Majesties, (the King haying previously married), being 
crowned, the Archbishop of Canterbury mounted the 
pulpit to deliver the sermon, and as many thousands 
were out of the possibility of hearing a single syllable, they 
took that opportunity to eat their meal when the general 
clattering of knives, forks, plates, and glasses that ensued, 
produced a most ridiculous effect, and a universal burst of 
laughter followed. 

The sermon being concluded, the anthem was sung by 
a numerous band of the first performers in the Kingdom, 
and certainly was the finest thing I had ever heard. The 
procession then began to move towards Westminster Hall, 
at which moment my father received a paper from Lord 
Egmont, enclosing four hall tickets, two of which he gave 
to Mr. Thomas and me, desiring us to make the best of 
our way. We descended, and attempted to follow the 
procession, but were stopped by the soldiers, and told no 
one could be allowed to pass that way, and that we must 
go round to the Palace yard gate. Whilst endeavouring 
to prevail on the men to let us proceed, I spied my friend 
Colonel Salter, of the Guards, who was upon duty, a.nd 
applying to him for assistance, he directly took us with 
him, and we reached the hall, which we otherwise never 
should have accomplished. 

Upon getting into the raised gallery, it was so crammed 
that I could not see an inch before me, until some gentle- 
men kindly made way to let me forward, and then some 
ladies, who were in a part that was railed off, seeing a fine 
looking boy (which at that time I was) in distress, they with 
the utmost good humour let me in, making room in the 
front row. Thus I found myself in the very best place in 
the hall, and within a few yards of their Majesties. I after- 
wards learnt that this situation belonged to the Duke of 
Queensbury, in right of some official post he held, they who 
occupied it being relations and friends of the Duchess. 
W were supplied abundantly with every kind of refresh- 



SCENES IN WESTMINSTER HALL S3 

ment. Sitting perfectly at ray ease, I saw the Dinner, 
tlje Ceremony of the Champion, and every particular, and 
was at a loss to decide which I thought the most mag- 
nificent, the Abbey sceiie, or that of the hall. About ten 
afc night the whole was over, and I got home as fast as the 
crowd would permit, highly delighted at all I had seen, but 
excessively fatigued, not having had any sleep the preceding 
night, and having been so actively employed the entire day. 
In the winter of this year I accidentally met in the park, 
Mr. Murrough O'Brien, afterwards Earl of Inchiquin, and 
finally Marquis of Thomond. After questioning me about 
the school, he gave me a guinea, the first I believe I ever 
had possessed. Having just then discovered the residence 
of my wanton little bedfellow, Nanny Harris, I directly 
went to her lodgings which were in a court that ran out of 
Bow Street, Covent Garden. I told her the strength of my 
purse, and proposed going to the play, which she consenting 
to, there was I a hopeful sprig of 13, stuck up in a green 
box, with a disreputable woman. From the theatre she 
took me home to supper, giving me lobster and oysters, 
both of which she knew I was very fond of, and plenty of 
rum punch ; with my head full of which, at a lafce hour I 
went home, and as I would not tell where I had been, I 
received a smart flogging from the arm of my old operator, 
Doctor Lloyd. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE REMOVAL FROM WESTMINSTER SCHOOL 

Ethe summer of 1762, just as I was embarking in my 
vherry, intending to proceed to Twickenham, one of 
the City Companies' barges went by, on their annual ex- 
cursion of pleasure, having a band of music with them. 
This was an irresistible attraction to me. I accompanied 
them up the river, keeping upon their quarter, except 
that now and then I exerted myself and dashed ahead as 
if they had been at an anchor. Vanity induced me to do 
this, in order to shew my skill and adroitness, in which 
my object was fully answered, the gentlemen appearing 
delighted at the dexterity with which I manoeuvred my 
boat. They presented me with cakes and wine from their 
windows. At the end of the Terrace at Kew they stopped 
in order to let the meia who rowed rest a little and take 
some refreshment. Whilst so doing, the band played several 
martial airs, which drew a number of listeners, both on the 
land and in boats. 

Upon again moving from Kew, they invited me to come 
on board their barge, which I immediately did, and upon 
finding that I was going to Twickenham, they insisted 
upon my remaining with them, and directed my wherry 
to be made fast astern of the barge. By the time they 
had reached Richmond I had made myself of so much 
importance by my spirits and fun that one and all pro- 
tested I must stay and eat turtle with them. I, who 
at no period of my life could resist a convivial party, 
very readily consented. By this time I had discovered 
that it was the Fishmongers 5 Company, going to a 
Turtle and Venison feast at the Castle tavern at Rich- 
mond. The party in general were very civil and attentive 
to me, but more especially an elderly gentleman of the 



A GUEST OF THE FISHMONGERS 35 

name of Grubb, an eminent attorney in the City, and Clerk 
to the Company. He desired me to sit down next to him 
at table, and said he would take care of me. At two o'clock 
we landed at the Castle and by three the party, consisting 
of upwards of one hundred, sat down to a magnificent 
dinner, consisting of three courses, in which every luxury 
in the eating way appeared. This was followed by a dessert 
equally splendid and costly with every hot house fruit 
procurable. My new friend Mr. Grubb, who seemed to have 
taken a prodigious liking to me, observing that I poured 
down champagne at a great rate, with much good nature 
cautioned me, observing that as I could not be in the hcabit 
of drinking such potent wine, it would soon affect and 
make me ill, to which I replied that I could drink as much 
as the best of them, and thanks to my friend Henley, and 
other Westminsters with whom I frequently took of large 
potations, though not of champagne certainly, but port, 
strong ales, and punch, and when our funds were low as 
sometimes happened, hot flip, I had, for such a youngster, 
a tolerably strong head. 

As the evening advanced, my spirits were exhilarated, 
and I sung several songs with which the company were 
highly pleased, though some of them expressed no little 
surprise at my selection, which undoubtedly was not of 
the modestest sort. The party sat to a late hour, but I 
held out until they broke up, when I was so drunk that 
on rising from my chair I fell flat on the floor, where I 
was given in charge of the master of the house who knew 
me well. He had me put to bed, where I slept as if 
dead until ten the next morning, at which time I awoke 
with an excruciating headache, and found myself and the 
bedclothes in woeful plight, having whilst I lay like a beast, 
quite senseless, disgorged from my overcharged stomach 
all the good things I had put into it. Upon going down 
stairs I found considerable relief from drinking strong 
coffee which the landlord's wife had very considerately 
prepared for me. I was then told that the company had 
departed about one in the morning, some of them in full 



86 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

as bad a state as myself, having been carried bodily to the 
barge, wholly incapable of walking or using their limbs. 
At noon I got into my boat, and rowed up to my father's, 
but did not recover from this debauch for several days, 
and was in sad disgrace at home on account of it. 

My propensity for the frequenting of public places of 
entertainment increased monthly, and, if possible., I became 
more idle and inattentive in the prosecution of my school 
duties than ever. This my father easily discovered from 
my inability to answer the questions he put to me on tho 
subject of the authors I ought to have been reading. Upon 
finding me altogether ignorant of what I should have been 
perfect in, he remonstrated, upbraided, coaxed, threatened, 
in short did everything that a fond parent could, to induce 
more attention to what, as he truly observed, was intended 
solely for my own advantage, and although I felt the force 
of his remarks, it was all in vain. He then stopped my 
weekly allowance, hoping that might have some effect, 
instead of which it only set my wits to work in what 
manner to raise cash. At last my idleness, dissipation, 
and neglect of the school exercises drew upon me the cen- 
sure of Dr. Markham, who finding his repeated lectures 
and repeated floggings equally unavailing, told my father, 
whose intentions relative to me he was well acquainted 
with, that it was in vain to think of making me a classical 
scholar, and that he had better adopt some other line 
than that of a learned one. Whatever cause I may have 
to regret this determined inattention and idleness, whereby 
the plan suggested by my fond and indulgent parent was 
entirely frustrated, clearly I have been the author of my 
own misfortune, and can blame no other than myself. 
My father, upon Dr. Markham's representation, reluctantly 
abandoned all hopes of seeing me shine as a lawyer, and at 
the end of the year 1763 I was therefore taken from West- 
minster School, most deservedly in high disgrace. 

Shortly before my leaving school a melancholy accident 
happened, which made a strong impression upon all our young 
minds, and which from its being attended with uncommonly 



A FATAL FIRE 37 

affecting circumstances, interested all London, and indeed 
the whole Kingdom. Lady Molesworth, the relict of Lord 
Molesworth, a Field Marshal in His Majesty's service, was 
a most accomplished and elegant woman, beautiful in person, 
and of the most enchanting manners. She devoted her 
whole time to the bringing up a lovely and numerous 
progeny of children who adored her, when one disastrous 
iiight put an end to her happiness and life. In the month 
of May a fatal fire broke out at her house in Upper Brook 
Street, at four o'clock in the morning, supposed to have 
happened from Captain Molesworth, a brother of her 
Ladyship's, reading in bed, when falling asleep the curtain 
took fire from the candle. Lady Molesworth was in bed 
at the time with her eldest daughter, then a lovely girl about 
sixteen years of age, when suddenly awaking from a pro- 
found sleep, she eagerly exclaimed, " Henrietta, what is the 
matter ? I hear a noise, and feel as if almost suffocated by 
smoke ; I am sadly afraid the house is on fire." Miss 
Molesworth thereupon leaped out of bed and ran to the 
chamber door, which she attempted to open, but the lock 
was so hot it burnt her hand. Finding herself nearly stifled 
she crossed the room and threw up the sash of the window, 
which caused such a draught that the flames instantly 
burst through the door enveloping the whole chamber in 
one blaze. The poor girl, in agony and despair, directly 
threw herself out of the window, which was towards the 
street, up two pair of stairs, unhappily falling upon the 
pointed spikes of the iron railing, whereby both thighs and 
one leg were dreadfully fractured. In this miserable state 
she was conveyed into the next house, where Lady Gros- 
venor resided, having been lifted off the rails by Lord 
Grosvenor, who resided in another street, but having heard 
the fire was near his mother's house had immediately gone 
to render any assistance in his power and to see the object 
of his ardent love in a situation dreadful beyond parallel. 
Lady Molesworth perished just as her daughter took the 
fatal jump, a ring she constantly wore, some of her bones, 
and part of the bed being afterwards dug out of the ruins. 



38 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Wliilst they were, with all possible tenderness and anxiety, 
conveying Miss Molesworth to a bed chamber, she recovered 
her senses, and fixing her languid eyes upon Lord Grosvenor, 
she in a tone so piteous as to draw tears from all present, 
asked, " Are you, sir, my uncle ? " to which he, in the 
deepest distress, answered, " No, my poor dear sufferer, 
I am your friend, Lord Grosvenor." To this she faintly 
replied, " Pray then take care of me," and instantly re- 
lapsed into a state of utter insensibility. 

The most eminent surgeons being summoned were of 
opinion from the nature of the fracture of the leg, nc 
possibility or chance of saving her life remained but by 
amputating the limb above the broken thigh, which oper- 
ation was forthwith performed, and without her knowing 
anything of the matter. When she once more came to 
herself, it was deemed prudent not to inform her of what 
had occurred, lest grief at being thus mutilated might 
prevent her having that repose indispensably requisite to 
her recovery. In this ignorance she remained nearly two 
months, the other broken thigh going on very well, and 
the many horrid bruises she had in different parts of her 
body being got the better of. During those two months 
she often complained of violent spasms and shooting in 
both legs and feet, a deception easily accounted for. 
Sensation arising from the nerves, the extremities of 
which had been in the foot upon amputation of the limb, 
rose to the remaining part, and the mind accustomed to 
refer pain to the nerves affected, ignoraoat of any part 
having been taken away, continued to imagine it proceeded 
from the foot, to promote which belief a case and bandages 
had been fixed to the stump of the thigh that she might 
not discover her loss. 

A female relation to whom Miss Molesworth was greatly 
attached had constantly attended her since the accident. 
This lady being requested to communicate the sad loss the 
patient had sustained, was more than fifteen days devising 
different plans for giving the information when she ' at 
length began to prepare her as if to undergo an operation, 



A LOVER'S LOSS 39 

in this way leading her to apprehend amputation might 
become necessary. After hinting at this repeatedly, the 
unfortunate girl exclaimed, " Oh, why did they not do it 
whilst I lay insensible ! What a blessing would it have 
been for me, and how happy I should now have felt." 
The friend took that moment to tell her it was already 
taken off. Whereupon she turned extremely pale, con- 
tinued silent for a few seconds and then eagerly said, 
" Thank God, for such an exposure of my person at this 
time would I am convinced have killed me." 

Lord Grosvenor, during her residence at Ms mother's 
house, omitted no attention that he thought would con- 
tribute to sooth her mind, passing several hours daily in her 
chamber with his mother and attendants, and as soon as 
she was able to bear it, making little parties of music for 
her entertainment, but the dreadful accident entirely put 
an end to all thoughts of matrimony. 

Lady Molesworth had one son, a boy about twelve or 
thirteen, and then at Westminster. He had been sent 
for home to celebrate some family festival, and was to 
have remained in Brook Street for a week, but the 
evening preceding the fire, the little Lord committed 
some oSence that occasioned his being directly sent ofi 
to school in disgrace, by which most probably his life was 
preserved. Two children of eight and nine years old 
were burnt in their beds without a possibility of afford- 
ing them the least assistance. Two other daughters had 
just time to get out of their sleeping room when finding 
the staircase and lower apartments in one dreadful blaze, 
they, with their governess, ascended to the top of the 
house. The crowd in the street, seeing the extreme danger 
the three unfortunate persons were in, spread feather beds 
and mattresses upon the pavement calling out to throw 
themselves down. The governess did so, but falling upon 
the stones was shockingly mangled. The eldest of the 
girls, terrified at the tremendous height, said to her sister, 
* c Though I see by staying here we must be burnt I have not 
courage to jump down ; do pray push me off and then follow 



40 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

yourself/' The youngest did as desired, pushed her sister 
off, instantly following herself. Providentially they alighted 
on 'the things spread to receive them, and were both miracu- 
lously preserved. 

By this dire calamity, eleven persons lost their lives, 
The grief of the surviving daughters for their unfortunate 
and much loved mother, their sisters, uncle, and domes- 
tics who fell sacrifices to the all devouring flames, is 
not to be described. Yet grievous as was their mis- 
fortune, specially that of the eldest daughter, evils ac- 
cumulated. Several years after the fatal fire, a young 
nobleman as wealthy as amiable became enamoured of 
Miss Molesworth, who resisted his suit for near a twelve- 
month, on accouDt of her being a cripple. His perseverance 
however prevailed ; she consented to marry him. Settle- 
ments were drawn and a day actually appointed for the 
ceremony ; only a few hours remained when he was brought 
home a lifeless corpse ; his horse having thrown him he 
pitched upon his head and was killed on the spot. The 
lenient hand of time alone recovered his luckless mistress 
from this second irreparable disaster. The youngest of her 
two sisters who threw herself from the top of the house 
afterwards married a son of Mr. Ponsonby, the Speaker 
of the Irish House of Commons. 

Some weeks after my leaving Westminster in manner 
above related, my father one day gravely addressed me, 
observing that I had then been at home near two months, 
during which, notwithstanding former misconduct he had 
flattered himself with the daily hope that my spirit would 
have induced me to propose some line of life for myself, 
and not indolently continue to eat, drink, and sleep away 
my time, labouring too, as I must feel I deserved, under his 
and my mother's displeasure, but as he had been again 
disappointed in his hopes, he would no longer support me 
in idleness, (Upon this subject I had long wished to speak 
and was only deterred from a consciousness of my ill- 
behaviour, and how little I deserved to be believed as to 
any assurances I might make, I therefore put it off from 



TO SCHOOL AT STREATHAM 41 

day to day until my poor father's patience was quite 
exhausted). He then asked me whether I would be an 
Attorney, there being still time enough left for me, if dili- 
gent, to acquire a knowledge of that profession, adding that 
he did not approve of having two sons in the same line of 
business, but my misconduct had left him without alterna- 
tive. I readily consented to become an Attorney, promising 
the most indefatigable attention, a promise I certainly 
meant to keep. It was thereupon determined thab I should 
be instructed in the common acquirements of a gentleman, 
for at Westminster nothing is taught but the classics. 

My father, anxious to keep me as much as possible out of 
temptation made enquiries as to where I might be likely to 
receive the best education out of the Capital, and an 
academy, then of considerable repute, at Streatham in 
Surrey, five miles from London, was fixed upon. It was 
kept by a widow lady of great respectability, a Mrs. Keighly, 
the Reverend Mr. Jackson, a pious and very learned man, 
officiating as Master. I went to Streatham in March 
1764, and with the utmost zeal commenced Arithmetic, 
Writing, French, Drawing, and Dancing. I also resumed 
Latin and Greek, to the whole of which I bestowed un- 
remitted attention for five months, when I was taken very 
ill with a fever, which soon shewed itself the forerunner of 
small pox. It therefore became necessary, on account of 
the other boys, to remove me, and my situation being 
announced to my father by special messenger, he imme- 
diately sent his coach with two trusty servants to convey 
me home, and wrapped up in blankets I safely reached 
St. Albans Street. 

Whether this removal in the height of the fever tended 
to increase the malignancy of the disease or not, I cannot 
tell, but I had it very severely. Dr. Nugent, an able 
physician, father in law of Mr. Edmund Burke, and a 
very intimate friend of my family's, attended me with 
unremitting kindness. I was equally fortunate in the 
apothecary, Mr. Hernon, an eminent practitioner of Suffolk 
Street. These two gentlemen at once pronounced the 



42 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

to be of a good sort, but that as I should be very full I 
should consequently undergo considerable pain and uneasi- 
ness. This was completely verified, my face being so swelled 
and inflamed that for many days I could not see at all. The 
violent itching almost made me frantic, and if I had not 
been closely watched day and night, I should probably 
have made a dismal figure of myself, and in spite of all the 
watching, I was so perpetually clawing at my nose, (always 
a prominent feature,) as materially to increase its size. 

At the proper stage of the disease my sisters, Ann and 
Sarah, were brought into my room for the purpose of receiv- 
ing the infection, which they both did, and had it very 
favourably. Although naturally good tempered, I was ex- 
ceedingly irritable and impatient under my confinement. 
Upon recovering, and looking at myself in a glass, I dis- 
covered that there was an end of all my beauty, which was, 
as I emphatically observed, " for ever gone," and I became 
quite as plain as my neighbours. An old servant, named 
Mary Jones, who had lived in our family prior to the time 
of my birth, endeavoured to console me by saying I still 
had a pair of bewitching eyes, which thereafter would make 
many a poor girl's heart ache. 

As I have already stated, Dr. Nugent was an intimate 
friend of my family's, every one of whom looked upon him 
with respect and gratitude as having been the preserver of 
my father's life, who a few years after his marriage became 
seriously indisposed, lost his spirits, and in a great measure 
his appetite, every month becoming weaker and weaker. 
The medical gentlemen, long at a loss to give a name to his 
disorder, after drenching him in vain with physic pronounced 
him to be in a deep decline. He was therefore put upon a 
vegetable diet, forbid the use of wine and strong liquors, 
and according to the then and still prevailing system, when 
the London doctors know not what to do, was, as a forlorn 
hope, ordered to Bristol. To the hot wells he accordingly 
went, where he was gradually and fast sinking to the grave, 
when fortunately for him Dr. Nugent arrived. They had 
been at Dublin College together, and there formed a friend- 



DR. NUGENT AND HIS PATIENT 43 

ship of the warmest nature. This was their first meeting 
since leaving the University. The Doctor expressed great 
concern at seeing his fellow Collegian in so reduced a state. 
He enquired into the particulars of his case and the manner 
in which the medical man had treated him. After having 
satisfied himself on those points, he said, " Well, Joe, we 
must now try what can be done for you here, and I by no 
means consider your case a desperate one. I shall come and 
dine with you, when we will talk further upon the subject, 
so order a nice small sirloin of beef to be roasted, and, I 
scarcely need add, a bottle of good claret. 5 ' The order 
being obeyed, and dinner served, the friends sat down, my 
father having his miserable basin of gruel placed before him, 
of which however he scarcely swallowed a spoonful. Dr. 
Nugent helped himself liberally to the roast beef, which he 
pronounced excellent, and admirably dressed. After eating 
some time he asked my father whether the smell of the 
victuals oppressed or was disagreeable to him, to which he 
was answered, 

" By no means, quite the reverse, the savour of the meat 
is pleasant to me." 

" Why then," continued the Doctor, " perhaps you'd 
like to have a slice." 

My father, who concluded he was not serious, replied, 

"That is not fair, Doctor, to tantalize me when I am 
sure I could eat a pound of it." 

" Say you so, Joe," said the Doctor, " then by Jove you 
shall have a good slice, though not a pound," and he imme- 
diately cut him a tolerable sized bit. 

My father, in utter astonishment, could hardly believe 
his sight or hearing ; he however devoured the beef with 
infinite glee. 

" And now," said the Doctor, " probably you would like 
to wash down the meat with a glass of claret," accom- 
panying his speech by -pouring out a couple of bumpers, one 
of which my father swallowed with equal surprise and 
pleasure. " And how do you feel after that ? " enquired 
the Doctor, 



44 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

" Quite a new man/ 5 answered the patient, " and ready 
for a second edition." 

But to that the Doctor gravely said : 

" No, no, you have done very well for a beginning, and 
must now be content to see me eat and drink, but to-morrow 
morning I shall call early, and if I find you as well as I 
expect and hope for, you shall at four o'clock not only 
repeat the dose, but increase the quantity." 

My father, after a better night's rest than he had ex- 
perienced for many months, rose wonderfully recruited 
in strength and spirits, took two slices of beef and two 
bumpers of claret the second day, discarded all his phials 
and slops, and from that time to the day of his death, which 
did not happen for upwards of fifty years afterwards, 
never knew a day's illness. 

After the small pox I was sent to Twickenham for change 
of air, where I had the use of my father's saddle-horses, 
daily riding about the country. In a fortnight being quite 
recovered, I returned to town stronger and better than ever. 
Whilst at Twickenham upon this occasion John Macnaghten, 
Esq., an old friend of my father's, came over from Ireland, 
and paid him a visit of several days. He was one of the 
handsomest men I ever beheld, notwithstanding which 
there was a peculiar fierceness in his manner that astonished 
those not intimately acquainted with him, and my mother, 
who was one of the mildest and gentlest women that ever 
breathed, could not bear the sight of him, at which my 
father always expressed his surprise, declaring Mr. Mac- 
naghten was one of the most elegant and accomplished 
gentlemen of the age. My mother readily admitted all his 
merits, that in person he was an Adonis, and she made no 
doubt accomplished in the highest degree, yet still she said 
there was a something about him she could not account 
for or describe, that she never looked at him without terror, 
and never felt easy in his presence, 

It is a singular circumstance that shortly after his visit 
at Twickenham he returned to Ireland, where becoming 
enaraeured of a Miss Knox, a fine young woman with 



A VIOLENT WOOER 45 

a large fortune, he proposed marriage, which it was 
supposed she had no objection to, but her uncle, who 
had brought her up, and under whose care she was, 
refused his consent, on account of the immorality of Mr. 
Macnaghten's private character. After various ineffectual 
attempts to soften the old gentleman, he laid a plan for 
forcibly carrying off the lady, and attacked the carriage 
she was in going with her uncle to his country house. 
Mr. Knox, suspecting what might happen, had armed his 
servants, one of whom upon Mr. Macnaghten's attacking 
the coach, discharged a blunderbuss at him, which, though 
it did not take effect, so exasperated him that he drew 
from the holsters a pistol, and instantly fired into the 
carriage at Mr. Knox, but instead of killing him the ball 
went through the heart of his beloved girl, killing her on 
the spot. Frantic at the mistake, he expressed his misery 
in the most moving language. He made no attempt to 
escape, which he might have done with ease, being a uni- 
versal favourite with the peasantry. Being brought to 
trial he was found guilty, condemned, and executed, 
shewing during the last sad scene the same impatience and 
violence of temper as had prevailed through his life, and 
brought him to a disgraceful and untimely end. He would 
not wait for the executioner's turning the ladder, but the 
moment he ascended jumped off with so much force as to 
break the rope. The jerk stunned him and he remained 
several minutes ere he could again mount the ladder. He 
however at last did so, jumped off in the same manner as 
before, and was thus launched into Eternity. 

After Mr. Macnaghten's visit, the family of Chetwoods, 
consisting of father, mother, and three daughters came to 
spend some time with us at Twickenham. At the end of 
six weeks they were to depart the following morning, 
which occasioned much grief and tears from the women. 
This melancholy neither Mr, Cane, just arrived from Cam- 
bridge for the vacation, nor I, at all approved of, and we 
had mutually more inclination to laugh than to cry. The 
supper had nearly passed over and very gloomily, when 



46 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

seeing a broad grin upon Cane's face, I felt myself in great 
danger of bursting into laughter, to prevent which I crammed 
my mouth full of peas that were on my plate. Scarcely 
however had I done so when the inclination to mirth be* 
came irresistible ; away flew the peas in all directions^ 
and not one of the party at table but partook of my dis- 
tribution. The effect was ridiculous beyond imagination, 
and completely put an end to weeping for the rest of the 
night. 



CHAPTER V 

SCHOOL DAYS AT STREATHAM 

TN January, 1765, 1 returned to Streatham, when my con- 
JL duct became very different from what it had before been. 
No longer diligent or attentive, I, on the contrary, neglected 
every duty, except drawing, because of that I was very fond. 
My chief business was running after the maid servants, par- 
ticularly one named Nancy Dye, a fine little jade. She fre- 
quently visited me at night, for as one of the privileges of a 
parlour boarder I had a small bed chamber to myself, to 
get to which However, I was obliged to pass through a room 
where seven or eight of the boys slept, amongst whom was 
one named Blackall, of nearly the same age as I was, and 
having the same amorous propensities, but being a sulky, 
ill tempered fellow he was equally disliked by the scholars 
and servants. This lad discovered my amour by happening 
to be awake two or three times when she passed by his bed. 
Having clearly ascertained that I was the object of these 
nocturnal visitations, he without saying a syllable to me of 
his discovery proposed himself to become a partaker, which 
Nancy very contemptuously rejected, nor would she ever 
submit to the most trifling familiarity from him. This 
hauteur of the cherry cheeked dairy maid raised BlaekalTs 
indignation, and he threatened if she persisted in refusing 
to him what she had so freely granted to me, he would 
inform Mrs. Keighly of her behaviour* Of this threat 
Nancy informed me, whereupon I remonstrated with Black- 
all, but instead of attending thereto he was insolent, and I 
gave him a sound drubbing, which had he possessed a grain 
of spirit could not have happened, he being in form and 
strength much superior to me. Upon receiving this chastise- 
ment, he ran blubbering away to Mr, Jackson to make his 
complaint, and state the circumstance of the girl's nightly 

47 



48 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

visits to me, which, being of course communicated to Mrs. 
Keighly, a terrible uproar ensued. I was threatened with 
expulsion, about which I was wholly indifferent, but I was 
greatly distressed at the evils that might arise to the partner 
of my guilt, who after being grossly abused and called by 
all sorts of opprobrious names, was ordered instantly to 
leave the house, whereupon I ventured, notwithstanding 
I was in such high disgrace, to plead for her, attaching to 
myself the additional crime of seduction, but Nancy on 
hearing this, with great spirit assured her mistress it was 
no such thing, nor was there any seduction in the case, and 
turning to me desired that I would not make myself unhappy 
on her account, and that as to being turned away, the 
place was no such catch and thank her stars she could get 
a better any day in the week. " Indeed/' added she, " I fully 
intended leaving it at the end of the month, for I am going 
to be married." (I had soon afterwards the pleasure to 
hear that she did marry a confidential servant of Sir Charles 
Blount's, who lived in the neighbourhood, and that she 
was very happy.) 

I was severely lectured on all quarters for my libertin- 
ism at so early an age, and my future misery and ruin 
predicted should I continue the same bad courses. Every 
individual of the family frowned upon me, except a 
daughter of Mrs. Keighly's, an elegant young woman of 
about two and twenty, who, in spite of the grievous offence 
I had committed, spoke to me at meals as usual and fre- 
quently looked at me, as if she did not like me the worse for 
my gallantry. 

I had made acquaintance at Streatham with Mr. Rose 
Puller, a Banker, and man of large fortune, who had a 
handsome house near the Academy, where he lived in a 
splendid style. This gentleman became very partial to me, 
And generally once a week, at least, sent a servant to Mr. 
Jackson to request I might be permitted to spend the day 
with him, which, from his rank in life, and respectability 
of character never was refused. He was a widower, with 
one son just of age. To Mr. Fuller, upon his questioning 



A SCHOOLBOY ESCAPADE 49 

me on the subject of pocket money, I did not hesitate to say 
that what my father allowed me was very inadequate to 
my wants, upon which representation he furnished me with 
a supply, and desired whenever I had occasion for a little 
cash that I would consider him as my Banker, a liberal 
permission that I did not presume upon, nor ever availed 
myself of, but upon real emergency. In this manner passed 
away the summer of 1765. 

Towards Autumn, two fine West India lads, named 
Harrison and Lewis, who were wards of Mr. Fuller, came 
from Eton school to pass some weeks with him previous to 
embarking on their return to their parents in Jamaica. 
They had therefore as great a range in point of amusements 
as they chose, and an abundant supply of cash. These young 
men, who were my seniors by eighteen months, were my 
constant companions, and as they knew the state of my 
finances one or other of them always insisted upon paying 
during the frequent excursions we made either on horse 
back or in post-chaises. In one of our trips of the first 
kind, i.e. on horse back, we rode across the country, and 
through Bichinond park, when dashing down the hill 
towards the town as hard as we could pelt, who should 
arrest my progress but my brother Joseph, who called 
out to me, and upon my stopping enquired where the deuce 
I came from, and whither bound in such haste ; to which I 
replied that we were only taking a ride, but that I could not 
stay longer lest I should lose my companions, and caution- 
ing him not to betray me at Twickenham, I galloped after 
my young friends. 

In December of the same year (1765) we three went, 
as we had often done before, to London, where I had 
introduced them to two females. We were preparing to 
return to Streatham when one of the girls said there 
was to be a new play performed that night at Covent 
Garden, and proposed our going to it. Though at all 
times prone to mischief, the boldness of such a proposal 
nevertheless staggered me, and I strongly objected, but 
I was laughed at for my prudence, my objection over- 



50 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

ruled, and to the theatre we proceeded. The perform- 
ance being finished, the ladies suggested the propriety of 
a little supper, to which Harrison entered his caveat, 
whereupon I observed, " ' In for a penny in for a pound/ 
we shall be no worse off by arriving at three o'clock 
than at one." My logic prevailing, we went to the Shake- 
spear, and after eating heartily, qualifying the victuals 
with a sufficient quantity of punch, we took a hackney 
coach to Westminster Bridge, where we mounted our nags 
and rode off for Streatham, which we reached a quarter 
before three, and found the whole village in an uproar. 
The person to whom the horses belonged, told us that 
Mr. Fuller, Senior and Junior, also Mr. Jackson and Hodgson 
(the head usher) had been there several times, and made 
such minute enquiries he had been obliged to declare the 
truth, that we were gone to London, at which they all 
appeared greatly shocked. 

My friends then took leave a-nd I gently rung the gate 
bell, and being let in, was received by an old maiden sifter 
of Mrs. Keighly, who said they had been under the 
greatest terror about me, that her sister and Mr. Jack- 
son had only just retired to their chambers, the latter 
from extreme agitation, very ill. Whilst stating these 
facts, Mrs. Keighly made her appearance, assuring me 
I should the following morning be conducted to St. Albans 
Street, for that she would not have the character of her 
Academy injured, if not entirely ruined, by such a 
profligate boy as I was. With this denunciation I was 
dismissed, and went to my room. Agitation at the 
serious scrape I had involved myself in prevented sleep, 
a severe headache came on, and before the customary 
hour of rising I was seized with so violent a vomiting, with 
considerable fever, as to be thought actually dying. The 
apothecary being summoned pronounced me alarmingly 
ill, and that I must be kept as quiet as possible. I remained 
the whole day in bed ; at night the fever increased with a 
delirium, in consequence of which Mrs. Keighly determined 
to send to my father to let him know the state I was in. 



A PENITENT INVALID 51 

but on the second morning the medical man pronounced me 
better, and it was therefore deemed unnecessary to alarm my 
family. 

I kept my room a week, and was wonderfully pulled 
down by the severity of the attack. The first day I 
appeared in the parlour I had a very serious lecture from 
Mr. Jackson, who said he should recommend my father to 
send me to sea in order to preserve me from absolute 
destruction : that as the school was to break up in a few 
days for the Christmas holidays, I might remain until then, 
but return I never should. I was informed that during my 
confinement Mr. Puller had daily sent to enquire after me, 
but that he was so deeply offended at my bad behaviour 
as to have resolved never more to see or speak to me, and 
I was peremptorily forbid going to the house. I neverthe- 
less did call, and was told by a servant his master was out, 
though I was certain I had seen him at the window. This 
made me very miserable. 

On my return to school I sat down and addressed a 
supplicatory letter to Mr. Puller, in which I did not 
attempt to palliate but freely admitted the enormity 
of my offence, for which I most earnestly solicited his 
forgiveness, and that as a few days would take me for 
ever from Streatham, I besought him not to let me leave 
the place under his displeasure. My misery was much 
increased at not getting any answer to this letter, for 
independent of my personal attachment to Mr. Fuller, 
which was ardent and sincere, I had naturally a mild temper 
and tender nature, and at no period of my life ever deliber- 
ately caused even a momentary pang to those I loved, or 
indeed to any human creature. In the present instance I 
was conscious I had justly irritated a benevolent and kind 
friend for which I felt equally ashamed and sorry, and ix 
consequence made to myself a thousand good resolutions. 

The day after I had written and sent my letter to Mr, Ful- 
ler, I saw him in the parlour in conversation with Mrs. Keighly 
and Mr. Jackson. Upon his going away Mr. Jackson sent 
for me and desired I would immediately go to Mr. Fuller's, 



52 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

whose anger was in no way abated, but he wished to tell 
me so in person that I might not again trouble him with 
any letters. Dejected and oppressed in spirit I went, but 
on the way a false and mistaken pride, which involuntarily 
came across my mind, made me determine, as pleading 
guilty had produced no mercy, not to betray any further 
symptoms of contrition. Upon my arrival at Mr. Fuller's, 
I was conducted into his study, where I found him with as 
stern a countenance as his naturally mild features could 
assume, and he coldly pointed to a chair. This reception, 
so different from what I had been used to, struck to 
my heart, already full and overcharged, and in spite of 
my determination to the contrary, I burst into a violent 
fit of tears, sobbing aloud and bitterly, which instantly 
softened the kind old gentleman, who fondly clasping me 
to his bosom, kissed and comforted me, assuring me of his 
full pardon. From a state bordering on despair, I was thus 
raised to the height of joy. He repeated in the kindest 
terms Ms affectionate regard for me, avowing that his anger 
had been assumed, as both his wards had done me the 
justice to declare I had strongly objected to going to the 
play, and that the whole scheme was their own. Mr. 
Fuller however added that we were all three much to blame ; 
and he had in consequence sent the young men to London 
earlier than they otherwise would have gone and intended 
they should embark on the first ship that sailed for Jamaica. 
I then took my leave of this sincere friend, who desired 
I would call upon him often in town, but unhappily I saw 
him no more, as in less than two months after my last 
interview he died suddenly. 

In a week after I went home, when my father observed 
to Mr. Jackson that I was now arrived at an age that made 
it right to establish me in a profession, and therefore I 
should not return to Streatham. He then thanked him for 
his attention during my stay at Streatham, which he trusted 
had not been ill-bestowed. The Keverend gentleman very 
kindly and considerately made no complaint, merely saying 
lie hoped my future conduct would be such as to merit his 



EDMUND BURKE 53 

(my father's) approbation. Then shaking me with great 
cordiality by the hand, he wished me well and departed ; 
and this was the last time I ever saw Mm ; in the following 
Spring he was during the night seized with a fit of apoplexy, 
and in the morning was found a corpse. 

About this period Mr. Edmund Burke, so justly cele- 
brated not only as a literary man but as a politician, came 
forward into public life. The circumstances which brought 
him into notice were these. Mr. Burke's family consisted 
of himself, Mrs. Burke, one son, named Richard, a brother, 
(also named Richard,) Dr. Nugent of whom I have already 
spoken, and who was Mrs. Burke's father, and Mr. William 
Burke, of whom I have likewise already spoken, and who, 
though in no way related to Mr. Edmund Burke had from 
early infancy lived in habits of the strictest friendship and 
unceasing attachment. Earl Verney, at that time a man of 
immense fortune and great parliamentary interest, being 
the professed friend of Mr. William Burke, he offered, as 
the time of a General Election was approaching, to return 
him for one of his Boroughs, an offer Mr. William Burke 
accepted, but in a few days after having done so, he called 
upon his Lordship and requested he would transfer the 
favour intended him to Mr, Edmund Burke, who possessed 
the most brilliant and extraordinary talents, and who he 
was satisfied would prove an honour to his country, and 
do credit to any and every one who patronised him. 

Lord Verney observed that he had heard the gentleman 
spoken of with much respect, and he should readily comply 
with Mr. William Burke's wish. He accordingly did cause 
Mr. Edmund Burke to be returned for Wendover, in Buck- 
inghamshire, and in a few weeks after brought in Mr. 
William Burke also for another of his Boroughs, the latter 
gentleman then being under Secretary of State to General 
Conway. 

Mr. Edmund Burke had been but a short time in the 
House of Commons when he rose to speak in an important 
debate, upon which occasion he displayed such tr xnscendent 
abilities, such profound learning and such force of eloquence 



54 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

as to astonish his hearers, and drew from the great Mr. 
Pitt a most elegant compliment. This eminent orator 
rising after Mr. Burke, to speak to the same question, 
amongst other flattering things said, " the young member 
who had just sat down had given him more information 
then he ever had received from any individual in that 
house." 

^Mr/Burke, early in his Parliamentary .career, connected 
himself with the Marquis of Buckingham and his party, 
to which he continued unalterably attached through life/ 

I have stated the foregoing facts because many persons 
have supposed and even asserted that it was Mr. Edmund 
Burke who brought his friend William into public life. 
Many have also thought that they were brothers. 



CHAPTER VI 

IN TRAINING FOK THE LAW 

A MOST important change in my life was now about to 
occur ; from a mere schoolboy I was to become in a 
great measure my own master, at least for some hours in the 
day, and, unfortunately for myself, I was more forward and 
manly than youths of my age usually were. Of this my 
father was perfectly aware, and in consequence somewhat 
alarmed. He knew how volatile I was, and my tendency 
to dissipation and conviviality. He therefore upon my 
coming home addressed me very gravely, slightly touched 
upon former errors, and observed that I must now have done 
with all such follies ; that I was arrived at an age when 
boyish tricks no longer became me, and I ought to begin 
not only to think but to act like a man endued at least 
with common understanding ; that I must turn to, heart 
and hand, to improve myself, which could only be accom- 
plished by intense application to my studies ; that a good 
inclination was all that was necessary, for being (as he was 
pleased to say,) blessed by nature with no ordinary talents, 
I had it in my power to do anything I pleased. This paternal 
anxiety and excellent advice I duly felt, and determined 
to follow, in every respect, with diligence and propriety, 
which I was conscious must be for my own benefit and ad- 
vantage. How long I adhered to these good resolutions 
will soon appear. 

In the year 1765 my father had taken my brother 
Joseph (then admitted an Attorney) into partnership, also 
Mr, Nathaniel Bayley, who had practised several years, 
and was considered an uncommonly clever Solicitor. This 
gentleman had inherited, and run through a fortune of 
twenty-five thousand pounds in less than ten years, pur- 
suing for that period, with avidity, all the follies of the times, 

55 



56 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

thereby sacrificing both his property and his health, bringing 
on a premature old age. This brought him to his recollec- 
tion. With the wreck of his fortune he quitted his debauched 
companions, went to reside in Chambers, and attended as 
closely as his health would permit to the law, for which 
profession he had originally been intended, and at the time 
of his connecting himself with my father he was in every 
respect regularity itself. 

To this Mr. Bayley, in the month of January 1766, 1 was 
articled as a Clerk, for five years, my father conceiving he, 
as a stranger, would have more control over me than him- 
self. As an encouragement to me to be diligent and atten- 
tive, I had an allowance of half a guinea a week for pocket 
money, also a guinea on the first day of each term, besides 
which I was told that I should frequently receive presents 
of from two to five guineas, upon attending the execution, 
and becoming a witness to deeds of various descriptions 
drawn in the office. All this I thought augured well and I 
was much pleased at the prospect before me. I was further 
gratified by having my hair tied, turned over my forehead, 
powdered, pomatumed, and three curls on each side, with 
a thick false tail, my operator being Nerot, a fashionable 
French hair dresser and peruke maker justly considered 
the best in his line, in London. And thus equipped, I came 
forth a smart and dashing Clerk to an Attorney. 

For eight months my conduct was irreproachable, my 
attention to the business such as to gain the highest approba- 
tion of my father and of my master, Mr. Bayley. I soon 
became a favorite with most of the then leading men at 
the Bar. These were, the Attorney General, Mr. Yorke, 
and Mr. Willes, Solicitor General, Mr. De Grey, Sir Fletcher 
Norton, Mr. Wedderburn, Mr. Dunning, Mr. Maddocks, Mr. 
Perryn, and others, who used to compliment me upon my 
quickness, and they frequently congratulated my father 
and Mr. Bayley upon their having so promising a youth 
for a son and Clerk. Amongst those most kind upon all 
occasions, it would be ungrateful in me did I not particu- 
larize the late Lord Thurlow, who was my fast friend. He 



LORD THURLOW 57 

however, notwithstanding his favourable opinion of me, 
used sometimes to express his doubts whether I was calcu- 
lated to make an Attorney, having from his observation 
upon my habits and manner conceived that I never should 
bring myself to submit to the dull and irksome drudgery of 
that laborious profession, but should be disgusted with it 
as soon as the novelty of the employment ceased. 

Mr. Thurlow was at that time just rising into eminence 
as a lawyer. My father, who considered him as possessing 
abilities greatly superior to any of his contemporaries, was 
anxious as far as lay in his power, to bring him forward. 
Mr. Thurlow, though indefatigable in his attentions to 
whatever he once undertook, was by no means a laborious man 
in general, especially during the early part of his life, when he 
avowed his disinclination to going to his desk, or looking 
into a book in an evening. Consequently, he never, except 
on particular occasions, was to be found at his Chambers 
after five o'clock in the afternoon, and in order to avoid 
being interrupted in his hours of recreation by Attorneys 
or their Clerks, it was a rule with him never to dine two 
following days at the same house, but to use various taverns 
and coffee houses (in the neighbourhood of the Temple, 
where he lived,) indiscriminately, and wherever he went 
the waiters had a general and positive order, if enquired 
for, to deny his being there, and this usually succeeded. 

A business was transacting in our office, whereon my 
father was extremely desirous of consulting Mr. Thurlow. 
The matter pressed in point of time, not an hour was to be 
lost, and as two of the clerks who were sent in search of him 
had failed in their object, my father bid me try what I could 
do, and if I succeeded he would give me a guinea. Out I 
set, and as I had at the commencement of my clerkship 
made friends with most of the head waiters in the tavern? 
and coffee houses in Chancery Lane, Fleet Street, and that 
part of the town, I felt confident I should obtain the promised 
reward, and did so, though after more difficulty than I 
expected. After going the usual round in vain, I called 
upon the Bar-maid at Nando 'a, with whom I was a favorite. 



58 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

and entreated her to tell me where Mr. Thurlow was. At 
first she protested she knew not, but by a little coaxing I 
got the secret, and proceeded to the Rolls Tavern, where I 
had already been, but there happening to be two new 
waiters who were of course unacquainted with me, they were 
faithful to their orders, and denied his being there. Upon 
my second visit I went into the Bar, where addressing the 
landlord, I told him I had ascertained Mr. Thurlow was 
in the house, and see him I must. The host was inflexible, 
and would not peach, but in a few minutes after I entered, 
he called out 

" Charles, carry up half a dozen of red sealed port into 
No. 3." 

It instantly struck me that must be the apartment my 
man was in, and as the waiter passed with the basket of 
wine I pushed by him, ran up to No. 3 3 boldly opened the 
door, and there sat Mr. Thurlow and four other gentlemen 
at a table with bottles and glasses before them. Upon seeing 
me he exclaimed : 

" Well, you young rascal, damn your blood, what do you 
want ? How the devil did you find me out ? Take away 
your papers, for I'll be damned if I look at one of them. 
Come, come, you scoundrel, I know what you came for ; 
you take after your father and are a damned drunken dog, 
so here, drink of this," filling a tumbler of wine which I 
had not the smallest objection to, and drank to the health 
of the company. " But how did you find me out ? " asked 
Mr. Thurlow. 

" Why, Sir," answered I, " I heard the master of the 
house order six bottles of port for number three, and I was 
certain there you must be, so up I ran and entered without 
ceremony." 

This made a great laugh, putting Mr. Thurlow into high 
good humour who swore I was a damned clever fellow, and 
should do, and turning to his companions he said 

" This is a wicked dog, who does with me as he pleases, 
a son of Joe Hickey." 

I was thereupon particularly noticed by them all, and 



SIR FLETCHER NORTON 59 

pulling out my papers Mr. Thurlow looked them over and 
immediately wrote a note to my father upon the subject, 
which I carried home, thereby gaming not only the promised 
guinea, but credit for the manner in which I had effected 
the business. (The Bar-maid at Nando's was the cher ami 
of Mr. Thurlow, with whom she continued all her life, and 
was by many supposed to have been his wife. She bore 
him two daughters, both now women and well married, 
he having left them large fortunes.) 

I had the same sort of influence over Sir Fletcher Norton, 
who by nature, was a rough, violent man. He wrote a vile 
hand, yet nothing offended him so much as any of it being 
referred back to him for explanation, and when such a 
circumstance did occur, he was not sparing of abuse to the 
messenger, in consequence of which all the Attorney's 
Clerks had a great dislike to going near him, but I heeded 
him not. He had once answered a case of importance for 
my father, relative to a plantation appeal, where the opinion 
was so execrably written that neither my father, who could 
in general decipher his scrawl, nor any one else could make 
it out. I was therefore dispatched to his Chambers in 
Lincoln's Inn, where his clerk told me he was so busy he 
could not be broken upon. I declared I must and would 
see him, but the clerk would not go in to tell him so down 
I sat in the outer room, his carriage being at the door to 
take him to the House of Commons. In about half an hour 
he was passing through in a great hurry when I arrested 
his progress, with my Case. He would not touch it, 
endeavouring to put me aside, saying, 

" My dear boy, I am already too late. It is impossible 
for me to stop one moment, I am going to the House, and 
then to a consultation. Come to-morrow," and on he pushed 
down stairs. I nevertheless stuck close, and to his utter 
astonishment followed him into the carriage. At first, he 
seemed offended, but soon observed I had done wisely, 
adding, " and now, my man, tell me what's your business." 

I presented my Case telling him the predicament his 
opinion stood in. 



60 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

" What/' said lie, " cannot your father read it ? " 

"No, Sir." 

" Nor Bayley ? " 

"No, Sir." 

" Nor you, or any one in the office ? " 

" No, Sir." 

Then looking over it himself he exclaimed : 

" By God, nor I either. I must answer it again ; come 
to me at nine this evening." 

Taking out a pencil and bit of paper I made him write 
" admit." 

" And pray what is that for ? " asked he. 

" Oh Sir," replied I, " my going to your Chambers would 
otherwise avail nothing, I should not be admitted." 

" Well thought of, my man," said he. 

By nine I was at Lincoln's Inn, the Clerk peremptorily 
refusing me admittance, and even after producing the 
written word, he made many objections. At last I pre- 
vailed and got in, and at half-past eleven marched off 
with my Opinion in legible characters. Sir Fletcher besides 
writing so execrably was sadly dilatory in business, and had 
a particular dislike to answering Cases, so that it was 
extremely difficult to get one from him. 

There was at this period an old Irish woman, named 
Judy White, daily at our office, having come to England 
on behalf of a near female relation who was involved in an 
Equity suit, and for whom Mrs. White acted as Agent, 
supplying such information as my father, who was her 
Solicitor, called for. She had formerly been considered 
the handsomest girl in Dublin, where she was long the 
reigning toast with the men. The remains of beauty, though 
she was now upwards of sixty, were still very visible. 
Prolixity was one of her grand foibles, and at times worried 
my father, (not the most patient of men,) exceedingly. 
When more than ordinarily out of humour he would let 
fly a volley of oaths, swearing he neither could nor would 
waste his time by listening to the damned infernal nonsense 
of such chattering stupid old gossips and bidding her get 



HIS FATHER'S TEMPER 61 

out of his office. These ebullitions of passion sadly annoyed 
Mrs. White, who used to come into the Clerks' office and 
declare that Mr. Hickey's violence and brutality was such 
that he would not allow her to state her relation's case, or 
say half that was necessary relative to it. As my father's 
warmth was always of short duration, he, upon recollecting 
himself, felt sorry at hurting the old lady, and generally 
apologized, though not often with effect. A fracas of this 
nature had occurred one morning that I was to accompany 
her into the City to witness the execution of some deeds. 
On our way to Lombard Street, in her carriage, she suddenly 
exclaimed : 

" What an abominable brute that man is, sir, he is an 
absolute devil in human shape." (The old lady imagined 
me to be a common articled clerk, no way related,) As I 
seemed rather to agree in opinion with her, she continued 
abusing him vehemently. At length, she asked, "Pray, 
young gentleman, is the wretch married ? ' J 
" Yes, ma'am." 
" No child, I sincerely hope." 
" Yes, Ma'am, several." 

" God Almighty help them," said she, " how can they 
exist with such a horrid monster." 

" Oh Ma'am," replied I, " he is only a little passionate, 
which those used to it do not mind, and it is soon over." 

" Soon over indeed," retorted she, " the devil confound 
him, he frightens me out of my wits." 

With this conversation we arrived at the place of destina- 
tion, where after Mrs. White had executed the deeds, I 
signed my name as a witness, whereupon she with a great 
brogue, screeched out : 

" Oh holy Jesus, and so, you little imp, I have been 
abusing your father to you all the way. Why did you not 
stop me by letting me know you was one of the race." 
Observing me grin, she continued, "Aye, aye, I see you 
are a true Hickey all devils alike." 

Upon our return to St. Albans Street, she said to my 
father : 



62 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

" Faith, and troth but I have made a pretty mistake 
here, in giving a very free opinion of you to your own flesh 
and blood, and that saucy whipper snapper monkey, let 
me go on deeper and deeper. However, I don't care, I said 
nothing but the truth, and what I still think." 

My father laughed heartily, and enjoyed the old lady's 
anxiety. Soon after this she became so habituated to his 
manner that it ceased to terrify her, and when he flew into 
a rage, she, with the utmost composure said : 

" Be quiet Hickey, none of your abominable cursing and 
swearing. I know you now, and don't value you a fig. I 
will have my own way, and say all I have to say, too," 
which conduct completely answered always restoring ray 
father instantly to good humour. 

Except during term time, or when there was any Cause 
of consequence coming on, my father rarely slept in London 
during the Summer months. It was customary for my 
mother and family to remove to Twickenham shortly 
before Easter, and there to remain until the middle of 
November, at which season they returned to London, my 
father's principal object in receiving Mr. Bayley as a 
partner having been to take the burthen of the business 
from himself, thereby enabling him to live more at his ease 
and amongst his friends. 

During the vacations between the terms I usually went 
to Twickenham and stayed until Monday morning, often 
sculling myself up and down, as I still possessed my little 
wherry. Everything went on smoothly until August, 1766, 
at which time my father and mother set out for France, 
taking the twins Ann and Sarah with them for the 
purpose of placing them in a Convent for education. 
About the same time my brother Henry returned from 
Ireland, accompanied by Tethrington, whom I have already 
mentioned. He (Tethrington) did not look more than 
seventeen, though he was full four and twenty, and had 
already passed some winters in all the profligacy and dis- 
sipation of Dublin. There was nothing remarkably attrac- 
tive either in his face or person, yet altogether he was 



BIRDS OF A FEATHER 68 

a smart little man, had the most intelligent and piercing 
eyes, sung an admirable song, was proficient at tennis, 
fives, billiards and all fashionable games, an uncommonly 
elegant dancer, and blest with so strong a head that he 
could put the stoutest fellows under the tabls at fair drink- 
ing. Besides all these qualifications, he was a prodigious 
admirer of the fair sex, and a universal favorite of theirs ; 
I have heard many lovely girls declare him irresistible 
and assert that he fascinated every female he addressed. 
He was a younger son of an Irish gentleman who had a large 
family and limited fortune. Like myself, his father had 
intended him for the Bar, and like myself, Jack disappointed 
his parent's views. Whilst in the College of Dublin he 
associated with his superiors, by whom he was led into 
an expense he could not afford, which first drove him to 
gaming tables, where proving fortunate he obtained frequent 
and ample supplies. Such a life was inconsistent with 
study, his books were neglected and Coke lay upon his table 
unopened. The ultimate consequence may be easily seen ; 
he became embarrassed, for good luck could not last for 
ever, and being threatened with a gaol, the horrors thereof 
induced him to decamp, and he embarked for England in 
the same vessel with my brother Henry, with whom he had 
previously associated in Dublin. 

There is an old English vulgarism, "Birds of, a feather 
flock together," which was completely verified in Teth- 
rington, and myself, and at our first meeting we became 
friends, for several years after which he shewed the utmost 
regard for me, and although he no doubt led me into some 
extravagancies I might otherwise have avoided, yet he 
always gave me excellent advice and never would allow 
me to gamble, to which in fact I never had an inclination. 
His purse was ever at my service ; when in parties to- 
gether, without a shilling in my pocket, as was sometimes 
the case, I had only to give him the slightest hint and mj 
reckoning was discharged. Moreover, whenever I required 
a couple of guineas, or more, I had only to send to his 
lodgings and my wants were supplied. 



64 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

With my introduction to Tethrington ended all my good 
resolutions, and former follies were resumed in an in- 
sreased degree ; I had seen him play at billiards in a style 
of execution that delighted me and I became so fond 
of the game tbat morning, noon and night was I looking 
on at the players, and at length took up a cue myself ; 
instead of attending to my business, passing my time at 
some public table, and this continued for a couple of 
years. Let me, however, again observe it was not from 
a wish to win money at it, but a real liking for the game ; 
nor did I ever lose anything material. The old sharks, 
of which there were a certain number that frequented 
each house, knew me very well, and the state of my 
finances. Aware that if I lost a sum that vexed me, I 
should probably cease to play, they conducted themselves 
accordingly. At first they challenged me to play simply 
for the charge of the table, but after a week or so declared 
me wonderfully improved, and proposed sixpence a game, 
at which rate they would entertain me as long as I chose, 
taking care never to leave off winners of more than half a 
crown, that is, five games at one time, and they would often 
permit me to be even, or loser of an odd game, although 
had they used the superiority they possessed, I should not 
have got a single game in a month, yet they always appeared 
to wish to make the match even, by giving such odds as 
they pretended to deem equal. 

These poor devils also taught me to guard against 
the various tricks and stratagems practised by sharpers 
to deceive and cheat the young and unwary. Having 
no other mode of subsistence than what they cursorily 
picked up from novices and strangers, I proved a fine 
subject for supplying funds for a daily meal, with which 
they were satisfied, and so was I. They had some private 
agreement amongst themselves respecting a division of 
the spoil obtainable from me, trifling as it was, for I 
observed that I scarcely ever played two succeeding days 
with the same person, though there might be several in the 
room. I was a favorite with them in general, and not a 



BILLIARDS 65 

man but would with the utmost good nature give me 
instructions, pointing out when I played for a wrong hole, 
and the reason, also telling me when it ought to be my 
sole object to leave my own ball safe, notwithstanding there 
was an apparent hazard, which my adversary had purposely 
placed, as a trap to catch me, knowing the probability was 
I should hole myself. Thus, in six months I became in 
some measure a proficient, knew the principles of the game 
and had tolerable execution with the cue. 

The tables I usually frequented were, Windmill Street, 
Whitehall, the Admiralty, The Angel, at the back of St. 
Clements, and Chancery Lane, at one or other of which I 
usually spent at least a couple of hours daily, and some- 
times much longer, and I was as well known at all those 
places as at any of the public offices about Lincoln's Inn 
or the Temple, 



CHAPTER VII 

BAD HABITS 

IN September, my favorite, Nanny Harris, returned from 
Ireland, where she had resided for some time, and called 
several times in St. Albans Street before I knew any thing 
of the matter, as the servants had been cautioned respecting 
her. But a new one, who had recently come from Dublin 
with my cousin John Edwards, upon my coming home one 
evening told me that a smart young lady had the instant 
before been enquiring for me, and could not then be many 
yards from the door. Having ascertained the way she 
went, I pursued, soon overtook, and recognised my early 
bed fellow. She appeared greatly rejoiced at the meeting, 
telling me she had been in Ireland with a man of large 
fortune, with whom she continued until his marriage, when 
they separated, he presenting her with a couple of hundred 
pounds, with which sum in Bank notes as well as a hand- 
some and plentiful wardrobe, she sailed for England, and 
had been in London one week, during which she had 
every day in person, enquired for me in St. Albans Street, 
and twice sent Chair-men with notes for me, but the 
servants faithful to the charge they had received from my 
mother returned the notes and never told me a word of the 
visits. This I afterwards learnt was entirely owing to the 
zeal of my friend, Molly Jones, all the other maids being 
desirous of telling me, from doing which she dissuaded them, 
stating Nancy Harris to be a wicked, artful hussey, whose 
object was to ruin me. 

" And now my dear Billy," said Nanny, " we are onco 
more together let's see who shall part us." 

She was highly pleased at hearing my father and mother 
were abroad, and conducted me to a very comfortable, 
neat and well furnished lodging in Berwick Street, Soho, 

66 



NANNY HARRIS 67 

where I passed the night. Upon going to office the follow- 
ing morning, my brother Joseph thought proper to call me 
to account for staying out all night, and interrogated as to 
where I had been. But not feeling that his having come 
into the world a few years sooner than myself gave him any 
authority over me, I pertinaciously declined response, 
receiving his lecture and admonitions with contemptuous 
silence. When he ceased to speak, I in a peremptory tone, 
desired his right to question or censure me, and refused to 
satisfy what I pronounced his impertinent curiosity. He 
then threatened to complain to my master, Mr. Bayley, 
which only excited my mirth, for I cared as little for that 
gentleman as I did for himself, and for the next three nights 
my abode was the first floor in Berwick Street, to which 
place my brother having traced me, Mr. Bayley thereupon 
called upon my fair companion, whom he successfully 
alarmed by assuring her that if she persisted in receiving 
me, he would cause her to be committed to hard labour in 
Bridewell, which she was liable to for inveigling away and 
harbouring an apprentice. Quite in terror, she informed 
me, who, though greatly vexed, was as much frightened 
as herself at the threat. I instantly went to Mr, Bayley, and 
upon his agreeing not to molest her, I faithfully promised 
never to stay out another night, or go again to Berwick 
Street. The first condition I adhered to for some time at 
least, but the latter was quite out of the question and I 
made my visits by daylight, when Nancy said she would 
save my word as to not going to Berwick Street, by changing 
her lodging, which she accordingly did, and took a first 
floor in Cecil Street in the Strand, a convenient situation 
lor me. being in my road to the Temple. 

In November my father and mother returned from Paris, 
and as neither Mr. Bayley nor my brother said anything of 
my misconduct during their absence, I received from my 
father, approbation and congratulations for my good 
behaviour, which I felt I was as undeserving of as any 
young gentleman within His Majesty's dominions. My 
father further said he was sure the utmost confidence might 



68 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

now be placed in my future well doing. Conscience certainly 
reproached me on receiving these unmerited encomiums 
and compliments, and I made in my own mind many fair 
promises, every one of which proved transitory as before, 
and I yielded to the first temptation that offered. 

My brother Joseph had been instructed in every 
gentlemanlike qualification, amongst which he was a very 
tolerable swordsman, having been taught by Mr, Telligory, 
an Italian then in high repute. My father as an encourage- 
ment to me to continue in the right line, sent for this person 
to attend and give me the requisite number of lessons. 
Upon his first visit, my father being in the room, I took up 
the foil with my left hand, having always been what is 
termed ' left-handed.' My father instantly exclaimed, 

" Look at the awkward boy. Change hands, Sir ; surely 
you cannot suppose Mr. Telligory will attempt to instruct 
a left-handed fellow." 

But the Italian directly replied : 

" Oh yes, I will, Sir, and recommend you by all means 
to let him be so taught, for, as a manly exercise and accom- 
plishment, the effect will be precisely the same, and should 
he ever be obliged to use his sword in serious attack or 
defence of himself, the advantage from his so doing with 
the left hand will be great and manifest." 

With the left therefore I learnt to fence, in fact, I used 
my left hand playing at all games, cricket, billiards, 
tennis, &c, 

My father had all his life been a remarkably early riser, 
I, on the contrary, was a sluggard, and if allowed to pursue 
my own inclination, never left my bed before nine o'clock. 
It was therefore much against the grain that I was now 
compelled to rise every morning by five, sometimes earlier, 
my father calling me himself, and directing m<3 to go to my 
books, using every argument in his power to persuade me 
to read hard. Over and over again would he say : " Now 
is your time, my dear William, for studying to advantage ; 
read hard, read day and night. Until you are forty it wiE 
all prove beneficial, and you will retain it, but after that 



FENCING LESSONS 60 

age reading becomes a mere amusement for the time, as the 
memory then begins to flag." For two or three months I 
did obey my father's injunctions, and read a good deal, 
doubtless with considerable advantage to myself. Had I 
through life continued the same course I should at this day 
have been a very different sort of creature to what I am. 

From the end of the year 1766, 1 was in a great measure 
deprived of my respected monitor, my father being very 
attle in London, and except when he was at my elbow, 
urging me to what was correct, I thought of nothing but 
dissipation and folly ; my books were entirely neglected, 
and I became idleness personified, 

In February 1767, my father went to spend a month at 
Bath. Previous to leaving town he recommended Mr, 
Bayley to make me " the out of door clerk," that is, exe- 
cuting all business at the different law offices, issuing writs, 
and every other process in the progress of a Cause, delivering 
Briefs, and all other documents to Counsel, and paying the 
fees, and this he advised as the most effectual mode of 
making me master of the practical part of the profession* 
My brother, who acted as cashier, was directed to furnish 
me with money for those purposes, and kept a book in 
which I was ordered to enter all receipts and disbursements. 
My father likewise made it his particular request that 
either Mr. Bayley or my brother would every Saturday 
night examine and check my account, receiving back all 
my vouchers. Had they done as desired by my father, 
probably much of the subsequent evil that accrued to me 
and themselves would have been avoided, but unfortunately 
they wholly neglected the use of such precaution, Mr. 
Bayley being satisfied by once in three or four months 
looking at the totals and finding the Debtor and Creditor 
sides corresponded, made no further scrutiny or examina- 
tion of the items. My error commenced in not keeping my 
pocket money distinct and separate from that belonging 
to the office. The consequence of not doing so was that I 
had unconsciously trespassed upon the latter before I was 
aware, and at the first discovery thereof was greatly alarmed. 



70 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

This proper feeling however soon subsided, and, like all 
those once commenced upon bad habits, I became by 
regular gradations, first uneasy, next indifferent, and by 
continued practice callous. Finding the balance every 
week considerably increasing against me, I endeavoured 
to counteract it by introducing sums I had never disbursed, 
entering others higher than I actually paid. True it is 
the old and faithful monitor conscience, frequently reminded 
me that such means were as dishonourable as unjustifiable, 
and upon discovery, which I knew must in the end take 
place, would bring me to disgrace and shame. Still, these 
internal upbraidings grew less and less, and I reconciled 
myself to making false entries by feeling that the cash 
I was thus purloining belonged to my father, and that 
plundering him was a different thing entirely to robbing a 
stranger. 

Lord Northington, then the Chancellor, used frequently 
to speak to me when attending at Lincoln's Inn Hall, very 
kindly enquiring after my father. His Lordship however 
was not one of my friends, the roughness of his temper was 
not in my mind at all like that of Mr. Thurlow or Sir Fletcher 
Norton, and I was actually afraid of him. This probably 
in some measure arose from his constant incivility to a man 
I greatly liked, the Honourable Charles Yorke. This 
gentleman was remarkable, when Attorney General, for 
going late into Court, for which the Lord Chancellor often 
said very rude things to him ; one in particular I heard, 
and it made a great impression upon me. There being a 
Cause of importance fixed for a certain day, Lord Northing- 
ton at the rising of the Court said, " I shall on Thursday 
morning sit precisely at eight o'clock, and hope Mr. Attorney 
General you will be ready. Mr. Yorke, bowing answered, 
" Certainly, My Lud." The day arrived and Mr. Yorke, 
according to custom, did not make his appearance until near 
ten, when he began apologizing for being so late, whereupon 
the Chancellor abruptly stopped him in the most ferocious 
manner saying, "Don't beg pardon, Mr. Attorney, for I 
care not when you come or whether you come at all, but 



THE LADY ABBESSES 71 

beg your Client's pardon, whose money you have taken and 
done him no service for it." 

I now became a constant frequenter of the Bedford and 
Piazza Coffee houses, but my chief place for eating was 
young Slaughters, in St. Martin's Lane, where I supped every 
night with a set of extravagant young men of my own stamp. 
After some time we were displeased with the noise, and the 
promiscuous company that frequented the Coffee room, 
chiefly to read the newspapers, especially half a dozen 
respectable old men, whom we impertinently pronounced 
a set of stupid, formal, ancient prigs, horrid perriwig bores, 
every way unfit to herd with such bloods as us. It was 
therefore resolved that we should have private rooms, and 
we were transferred to the two pairs of stairs front room, 
where we established ourselves into a roaring club, supped 
at eleven, after which we usually adjourned to Bow Street, 
Covent Garden, in which street there were then three most 
notorious Bawdy houses, all which we took in rotation. 
The first was kept by a woman whose name I have forgotten ; 
it was at the corner of a passage that led to the theatre, 
the second was at the top of the street in a little corner or 
nook, and was kept by an old Irish woman, named Hamilton, 
with whom I was upon remarkably good terms of which 
she gave me most convincing proof in many times offering 
me money, saying, "My dear boy I always have plenty of 
loose cash about me and it will do my heart good to fur- 
nish your pocket when in want of Hning." Though I 
felt the kindness, I never availed myself of the offer, I 
believe, to her great surprize. The third brothel was 
kept by Mother Cocksedge, for all the Lady Abbesses were 
dignified with the respectable title of Mother. In these 
days of wonderful propriety and general morality, it will 
scarcely be Credited that Mother Cocksedge's house was 
actually next, of course under the very nose of that vigilant 
and upright magistrate, Sir John Fielding, who, from the 
riotous proceedings I have been a witness to at his worthy 
neighbour's must have been deaf as well as blind, or at least, 
\vell paid for affecting to be so a 



72 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

In these houses we usually spent from three "to four 
hours, drinking Arrack punch, or, as far as I was con- 
cerned pretending to do so, for being a composition I had 
an uncommon dislike to, I never did more than put the 
bowl to my lips, without swallowing a drop, and romping 
and playing all sorts of tricks with the girls. At a late, 
or rather early hour in the morning, we separated, retiring 
to the private lodgings of some of the girls, there being 
only two that resided in the house, or to our homes, as 
fancy led, or according to the state of finances. 

In the summer we had another club which met at the 
Red House in Battersea fields, nearly opposite Ranelagh, a 
retired and pretty spot. It was kept by an aged pair 
named Burt, having one daughter called Sally, about nine- 
teen, and very pretty, with whom I speedily ingratiated 
myself. This club consisted of some very respectable 
persons, amongst them were Mr. Powell, of the Pay office, 
Mr. Jupp, the East India Company's Architect, Mr. White- 
head, a gentleman of independent fortune, King, the cele- 
brated actor, Major Sturt of the Engineers, and others. 
The game we played was an invention of our own and 
called field tennis, which afforded noble exercise. The 
situation of the house, which was close upon the edge 
of the river, and no public carriage road near it on 
the land side, rendered it as private as if it had been 
exclusively our own. Our regular meetings were two 
days in each week, when we assembled at one o'clock, 
at two sat down to dinner, consisting of capital stewed 
grigs, a dish Mrs. Burt was famous for dressing, a large 
joint of roast or boiled meat, with proper vegetables and 
a good sized pudding or pie ; our drink consisting of 
malt liquors, cyder, port wine, and punch. At four our 
sport commenced, continuing until dark ; during the 
exercise we refreshed ourselves with draughts of cool 
tankard, and other pleasant beverages. The field, which 
was of sixteen acres in extent was kept in as high order, and 
smooth as a bowling green. When we could no longer see 
we returned to the house and drank tea or coffee ; after 



THE RED HOUSE CLUB 73 

which the Bill was called for and each paying his quota, 
the party broke up. I generally remained to pass an agree- 
able hour or two with my fair Sally, and fair she literally 
was, her hair being the lightest in colour I ever saw. She 
was generally distinguished by the wits of the Thames, 
with the name of " Silver Tail." 

Our Club consisted of twenty, and was always well 
attended ; any member who absented himself, no matter 
from what cause, on a club day forfeited half a crown, 
which was put through a hole made in the lid of a box, 
fcept under lock and key, and opened only once a year, 
when the amount of forfeits was laid out in an extra din- 
ner at the Red House, generally about the 20th of Decem- 
ber, and consisting of venison and all sorts of dainties, the 
liquors being claret and madeira, purchased for the occasion. 
Besides our regular days, some of the members met every 
evening during the summer months to have a little field 
tennis. It was just a mile from Buckingham gate to the 
Chelsea water works, from whence Burt's boat immediately 
conveyed us across the water, being rowed by an extra- 
ordinary man, who though born deaf and dumb, was the 
quickest and most intelligent creature, and could make us 
perfectly understand who were already arrived, having a 
particular sign by which he distinguished each member. 
This person went daily to Clare market, where he would 
execute punctually every order, purchasing all that was 
wanted as correctly as if he had not been deprived of the 
faculties of speech and hearing. At the time I am now 
speaking of, he was a stout well looking fellow of about 
two or three and twenty, and as we all saw, a laborious and 
useful servant. 

The annual dinner I have above alluded to, took place 
this year (1767) on the 19th of December, on which day I 
rowed myself up to the Red House, got abominably drunk, as 
did most of the party, and in spite of the remonstrances of 
Burt and his wife, backed by Sally too, I, at two o'clock 
in the morning staggered to my boat, which I literally 
tumbled ink> 3 and, without recollecting one word of the 



74 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

matter, obstinately refused to let anyone accompany me, 
and pushed off. Whether, intoxicated as I was, it came 
into my head every body would be in bed at Koberts's at 
Lambeth, where my boat was kept, or not I cannot tell, 
or what guided my proceedings, but it seems I ran her 
ashore at Milbank, there got out, and endeavoured to 
walk home. Unfortunately for me they were then paving 
anew the lower parts of Westminster, and I in consequence 
encountered various holes, and various heaps of stone and 
rubbish, into and over which I tumbled and scrambled 
God only knows how, or how I contrived to get so far on my 
way as Parliament Street, but a little after seven in the 
morning, a party who had supped and afterwards played 
whist all night, at a Mr. James's, were just sallying forth 
to get into a hackney coach, waiting to convey them to 
their respective homes. Mr. Smith, .one of the company, 
who was a riding master of His Majesty's, stepping to 
the rear of the coach, descried a human figure laying 
in the kennel, whereupon he called to his companions, 
who, upon examination, found it was poor pilgarlic in 
woeful plight. Being thus recognized, though I was utterly 
incapable of giving any account of myself, or of even articu- 
lating, they lifted me into their coach, Mr. Smith and 
another attending to support me, and thus I was conveyed 
to my father's and there put to bed, having no more re- 
collection of a single circumstance that had occurred for the 
preceding twelve hours, than if I had been dead. My boat, 
which was known to all the watermen above bridge, was 
found at daylight laying aground at Milbank, having only 
one scull in her. Upon enquiry, a watchman said he had 
observed a young gentleman who appeared very tipsy, 
land from her, and seeing how incapable he was of walking, 
and that he fell every yard, offered to assist him, which was 
violently rejected, and he therefore went to his watch house, 
it being near break of day. 

I awoke the following day in my own bed, as from a 
horrible dream, unable to move hand or foot, being most 
miserably bruised ? cut and maimed in every part of my 



RESULTS OF A "NIGHT OUT" 75 

body. The three first days, my old friend Dr. Nugent, 
and Mr. Samuel Hayes, an eminent surgeon, were much 
alarmed, telling my father I was in imminent danger, a 
strong fever having come on, and from some symptoms 
they apprehended serious internal injury. Youth how- 
ever, and a naturally good constitution, befriended me. 
I got better in a week, and on the tenth day was allowed to 
rise for an hour, but more than three weeks elapsed ere I 
left my chamber. 

At the Bed House I became acquainted with Mr. Symonds, 
as worthy and truly honest a man as ever lived. He was 
a great politician and patriot, not according to the modem 
acceptation of that term, but from sheer principle. He was 
a Liveryman of London, in executing the duties of which 
station his sole object was the advantage and well doing of 
his native land, nor was he ever known to give his aid or 
influence to mere party measures, or to censure or find fault 
with Ministers, only because they were in office. This truly 
respectable gentleman continued to carry on the business 
of a wholesale stationer in which he had succeeded his 
father, in a large mansion close to the East India house in 
Leadenhall Street, serving that Company, the Bank of 
England, and other public bodies, and this notwithstanding 
he possessed an ample fortune, which fortune shortly after 
my acquaintance with him commenced was materially 
increased by the death of a relation, who left him an estate 
of upwards of two thousand pounds per annum, in conse- 
quence of which he took the name of Smith. He had a 
noble house upon the border of the river, a little above the 
town of Battersea, where he lived in the true style of old 
English hospitality in the midst of a happy family con- 
sisting of a wife, one son, and one daughter, entertaining 
his numerous friends with a warmth and cordiality that 
never was exceeded, seldom equalled. After a liberal 
quantity of the best port and madeira, which followed an 
excellent dinner, himself and guests adjourned to the 
billiard table, or Bowling Green, according to weather, or the 
season of the year. From either of those amusements they 



76 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

want to the drawing room, where tea and coffee being served, 
music filled up the space till ten, at which hour supper was 
served, and at eleven every body retired to their homes, 
or if his guests for the night, to their chambers, where 
every comfort awaited them. 

And here did I, who in London passed my evenings and 
nights in theatres, taverns, and brothels, amidst abandoned 
profligates of both sexes, and in every species of folly and 
intemperance, at least once in every month, and sometimes 
oftener, quietly and soberly, as well as rationally, spend 
Saturday and Sunday in the society of this worthy and re- 
spectable family ; with the utmost complacency, and actual 
satisfaction to myself, complying with all the customary and 
decent forms of the house, regularly attending the whole 
family on Sunday, both morning and evening, (of such 
force is example, whether good or bad,) to the meeting 
house, their place of worship, Mr. Smith being a Dissenter, 
and rigid observer of all the forms adopted by that sect. 
On the Sabbath therefore we never had the billiard room 
opened, nor any amusement except admirable sacred music. 

Mr. Smith was very fond of sailing, and had a fast 
going little vessel, built from a Dutch model, in which I 
took many a cruise with him, he constantly standing at 
the helm, with a pipe in his mouth, being a great smoker. 
My father, who was by this time but too well acquainted 
with my vicious habits, would not give me credit for passing 
two days a week in so respectable a family, and so sedate 
a manner as I have described, and upon my often assuring 
him on my honour that I had been there, and no where else, 
would feelingly exclaim how depraved and lost to all sense 
of shame I must be to pledge so solemn an affirmation to 
what I must be conscious was utterly false. Really mortified 
at this doubt of my veracity, though certainly I had given 
too much reason to bring it into question, I pettishly 
answered : 

" If, Sir, no reliance is to be placed on my word why do 
you not call at Mr. Smith's and ascertain the truth or false- 
hood of what I say ? " 



MR. SMITH'S TESTIMONIAL 7T 

"And so perhaps I may, and sooner than yon will 
like," replied my father. 

Shortly after this had passed, I was surprized at a sudden 
alteration in my father's manner towards me. From an 
angry and offended countenance, with the coldest behaviour 
at all times when we met, he resumed his natural character 
respecting me by becoming kind and affectionate as ever, 
and every thing I said or did seemed to please him. For 
this change I could in no way account, knowing that I had 
done nothing to entitle me to it. Upon my mother's 
coming to town for a day on some business, I asked her if 
she knew what had occasioned this favourable change as to 
me, when she told me that he had a few mornings before 
rode over to Mr. Smith's, where upon enquiry he found that 
I had said what was true ; that Mr. Smith spoke of me in 
the most affectionate language, and terms of the highest 
panegyric, saying that so far from my betraying any 
symptoms of profligacy or immorality during the many 
times I had been his guest, I shewed myself the most 
correct and best principled young man he ever knew ; 
that my lively and cheerful disposition deservedly made 
me a favourite with every one acquainted with me, so 
much so that not only himself, but every individual of 
his family felt gratified when they saw me enter the house. 
A eulogium so unexpected and so flattering to me had 
delighted my poor father. 

The same morning on which I received this information 
my father learnt from my mother that it had been so 
communicated. He then sent for me to his office, when 
putting five guineas into my hand, he burst into tears 
tears that cut me to the soul, and drew from my eyes a 
gush of exquisite anguish. After a silence of some minutes, 
he pressed me close, kissed my cheek, and adding, " Perse- 
vere, my dearest boy, in the right line and you will be an 
honour to yourself and me," dismissed me. I can safely 
aver that these five guineas were the only ones I in my lif e 
ever received without feeling a particle of satisfaction or 
pleasure in the possession of them, but such is the fact. 



78 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM MICKEY 

The same silent but powerful monitor that had often before 
spoke within, again told me how very undeserving I was of 
my father's affectionate attentions, and that the same was 
bestowed upon a reprobate and an ingrate. The drawing 
of tears, though in part tears of satisfaction, from such 
a parent hurt me more than I can express. I formed a 
thousand good resolutions, but alas, as usual, to end in 
nothing. 



CHAPTER VIII 

LIFE IN LONDON AND A YACHTING EXCURSION 

IN January 1768, my father by way of recreation, took 
me with him to Bath. Whilst there, we made excur- 
sions to the seats of different friends of his who resided at 
Bristol, Gloucester, and other places in that part of Eng- 
land, and after an absence of five weeks spent in the 
pleasantest manner, we returned to London. 

In February I accompanied my father to Twickenham, 
where he went in order to inspect some alterations and 
additions making in the house. A few minutes after our 
arrival, the valet of Mr. Nunez, an opulent Jew, who lived 
near our house, called to say his master had come from town 
that afternoon quite alone, appearing much indisposed, 
but would not let any medical person be sent for. He 
therefore entreated my father would visit his master, and 
endeavour to learn what was the matter. We accordingly 
went directly, and found him in a most dejected state. 
He at first attempted to rally, declaring he had nothing 
more than a slight head ache, but soon again sunk into 
silence and despondency. My father, who knew his pro- 
pensity to gamble, thought it probable he might have 
recently lost a sum that preyed upon his spirits, and there- 
fore put the question, observing that if he had been out of 
luck, he had many friends ready and willing to come for- 
ward with pecuniary aid, and that he was amongst the 
number. Mr. Nunez expressed his grateful sense of such 
generosity, but assured him nothing of that kind had 
occurred. My father then, though with some difficulty, 
prevailed upon him to return and sit with us until bed time. 
At supper he eat an egg, and drank several glasses of 
Bishop, (that is, red port made hot, having a roasted 
orange put into it, with sugar and nutmeg,) which he seemed 

79 



go MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

to enjoy. At ten o'clock he wished my father, good night. 
I accompanied him down stairs, and when at the door he 
stopped, put Ms hand in his pocket and taking out three 
guineas, presented them to me, saying, " I conclude you have 
full as much occasion for money now as when you were 
at Westminster." He then shook me eagerly by the hand, 
at the same time pressing it strongly, and with considerable 
agitation said " Adieu, God bless you, William," and left me. 

My father called me between six and seven in the 
morning, and I was but just dressed when the same 
valet came running, in, panting for breath, and with 
horror most strongly depicted in his countenance, ex- 
claimed, " Oh sir, my poor master is dead." My father 
and myself instantly returned with the servant, and found 
Sir. Nunez a shocking spectacle indeed. He had risen before 
six, and hastily putting on his clothes, the moment the day 
broke he said he would go and walk in the garden, which 
was on the opposite side of the road to the house, and 
went with a gentle slope to the Thames. His valet, alarmed 
at his appearance, and his rising so much earlier than usual 
watched him, apprehensive that he would throw himself 
into the river, but seeing that after a few turns on the lawn 
he went into the Summer house, he hoped all was well. 
In less than five minutes afterwards he was terrified at the 
report of a pistol, whereupon he flew across the road, rushed 
into the Summer house, and there saw his master laying 
upon the floor weltering in his blood, and quite dead. He 
had put a small pocket pistol into his mouth, and actually 
blown off the entire upper part of the skull, blood and 
brains being scattered round the room. We found the 
fellow pistol to the one discharged fast clenched, in his left 
hand, and loaded up to the muzzle. 

This was by far the most severe shock I had ever ex- 
perienced. I had known Mr. Nunez from my infancy, 
was always a pet of his, and he gave me many a guinea 
whilst I was at school. At the time of his committing 
the rash action he was only thirty years of age, a re- 
markably handsome man, and of most engaging manners. 



THE SUICIDE OF MR. NUNEZ 81 

I never afterwards passed that fatal Summer house, either 
by land or water, without a sensation of misery and 
regret that I cannot describe. Upon our return to Lon- 
don my father learnt that Mr. Nunez had the night 
previous to our seeing him at Twickenham, lost near 
ten thousand pounds at White's in St. James's Street, 
which following close upon other serious losses induced him 
to commit suicide. It is singular that he had always spoken 
of self murder as a most atrocious crime, and that he con- 
sidered it the most dastardly and disgraceful act any person 
in the situation of a gentleman could be guilty of. 

In consequence of the good resolutions I made upon 
receiving the undeserved five guineas from my father, more 
than two months had elapsed without my once going to any 
of my old haunts, and I had during that period conducted 
myself with the utmost propriety and decorum, so that I 
began to congratulate myself upon a complete reformation. 
My vanity even carried me so far as to suppose I now 
possessed fortitude sufficient to resist temptation, and that 
I might venture occasionally to visit the Club of Slaughters 
without renewing my former vicious habits. Full of this 
erroneous idea I, one evening in March, called in at Slaugh- 
ters, where some of my quondam associates immediately 
gathered round me, with warm congratulations upon my 
return to them, protesting that they would have a gala 
night to celebrate the restoration of so worthy a member. 
Up I went to the Club room, down went the wine and punch, 
and away went all my plans of reformation. Society, as 
usual, proved my bane, for, although I at first attempted 
to flinch, pleading ill health and being forbid spirituous 
liquors, I .was only laughed at and ridiculed. In short my 
resistance was of no avail ; I yielded, and drank deep as the 
rest. 

I was informed with vast glee by these wild young men 
that during my secession they had discovered two new 
houses of infinite merit, with which they were sure I should 
be wonderfully pleased, and to both of which they would 
introduce me before we parted. At the customary hour, 



82 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

being brim full of wine, we sallied forth, went the old Bow 
Street rounds, from whence I was led into an absolute hell 
upon earth. The first impression on my mind upon entering 
those diabolical regions never will be effaced from my 
memory. This den was distinguished by the name of 
Wetherby's, situate in the narrowest part of Little Russell 
Street, Drury Lane. Upon ringing at a door, strongly 
secured with knobs of iron, a cut throat looking rascal 
opened a small wicket, which was also secured with narrow 
iron bars, "who in a hoarse and ferocious voice asked, " Who's 
there?" Being answered "Friends," we were cautiously 
admitted one at a time, and when the last had entered, 
the door was instantly closed and secured, not only by an 
immense lock and key, but a massy iron bolt and chain, 
I had then never been within the walls of a prison, yet this 
struck me like entering one of the most horrible kind. 
My companions conducted me into a room where such a 
scene was exhibiting that I involuntarily shrunk back with 
disgust and dismay, and would have retreated from the 
apartment, but that I found my surprize and alarm were so 
visible in my countenance as to have attracted the attention 
of several persons who came up, and good naturedly enough 
encouraged me observing that I was a young hand but 
should soon be familiarised and enjoy the fun. 

At this time the whole room was in an uproar, men and 
women promiscuously mounted upon chairs, tables, and 
benches, in order to see a sort of general conflict carried 
on upon the floor. Two she devils, for they scarce had a 
human appearance, were engaged in a scratching and 
boxing match, their faces entirely covered with blood, 
bosoms bare, and the clothes nearly torn from their bodies. 
For several minutes not a creature interfered between 
them, or seemed to care a straw what mischief they might 
do each other, and the contest went on with unabated 
fury. 

In another corner of the same room, an uncommonly 
athletic young man of about twenty-five seemed to be the 
object of universal attack. No less than three Amazonian 



A NIGHT AT WETHERBTS SB 

tigresses were pummelling him with all their might, and it 
appeared to me that some of the males at times dealt him 
blows with their sticks. He however made a capital 
defence, not sparing the women a bit more than the men, 
but knocking each down as opportunity occurred. As 
fresh hands continued pouring in upon him, he must at 
last have been miserably beaten, had not two of the 
gentlemen who went with me, (both very stout fellows) 
offended at the shameful odds used against a single person, 
interfered, and after a few knock me down arguments, 
succeeded in putting an end to the unequal conflict. 

This, to me, unusual riot, had a similar effect to Othello's 
sudden and unexpected appearance before his inebriated 
officer, Michael Cassio, for it produced an immediate 
restoration of my senses, the effect of which was an eager 
wish to get away, for which purpose I, in the confusion, 
slunk out of the room into the passage, and had just began 
fumbling at the street door, hoping to be able to liberate 
myself, when the same fierce and brutal cerberus that had 
admitted my party coming up, roughly seized me by the 
collar exclaiming 

" Hulloa, what the devil have you been about here ? " 

To which I answered meekly, 

"Nothing, but not being well I am desirous of going 
home." 

" Oh you are, are you. I think you came in not long since, 
and with a party. What ! do you want to tip us a bilk ? 
Have you paid your reckoning, eh ? No, no, youngster, 
no tricks upon travellers. No exit here until you have passed 
muster, my chick." 

More shocked than ever I was compelled to return to the 
infuriate monsters, the ferocious door keeper following me 
and addressing one of my companions whom he knew, 
said 

" So the young 'un there wanted to be off, but I said as 
how I knew a trick worth two of that, too much experience 
to be taken in by such a sucker, told him not to expect to 
catch old birds with chaff, didn't I, young 'un, hey ? " 



84 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

In this dreadful hole I was therefore obliged to stay 
until my friends chose to depart, and truly rejoiced did I 
feel at once more finding myself safe in the street. I ex- 
pressed in strong terms my disgust at what I had just 
witnessed, declaring my determination never to subject 
myself to the like again. This only excited the laughter 
of my companions, who, notwithstanding all my remon- 
strances and resistance, dragged me with them to another 
scene of nocturnal dissoluteness, situate in the same street, 
but on the opposite side. This was called "Murphy's," 
where, although there was no actual personal hostilities 
going on when we entered, the war of words raged to the 
utmost extent, and such outre phrases never before en- 
countered my ears, though certainly until that night I had 
considered myself a tolerable proficient in blackguardism. 
I found that it was the custom at Wetherby's never to 
serve any liquor after the clock struck three, so that those 
jolly blades whose bottles or bowls were empty when that 
hour arrived then adjourned to Murphy's, which at the end 
of that year changed its name to "Marjoram's," and here 
also the time for serving liquors was limited, the hour 
being five in the morning. From this latter nest of pick- 
pockets, and lowest description of prostitutes we got away 
about half past four, I inwardly wishing every mishap 
might attend me if ever I again crossed the threshold of 
either of the Russell Street houses during the remainder 
of my life. 

I continued to frequent the Club at Slaughters, but rigidly 
adhered to my resolution not to accompany my friends to 
Wetherby's. In the early part of May however, having 
dined with my brother Henry, and a party of his convivial 
associates, at the Shakespear, some one at a late hour 
proposed a visit to Wetherby's, when I instantly entered 
my negative. The company, surprized, asked the reason, 
and I related what had occurred to me, which excited much 
mirth. They however told me that I had been unlucky in 
encountering such a riot. Tethrington and my brother 
then said they would escort me, and that I should find it a 



THE FEROCIOUS MISS BURGESS 85 

very different thing. Thus encouraged and being fortified 
with an ample dose of claret, I made no further objection, 
and was agreeably disappointed. At the sound of Tethring 
ton's voice, the door was opened wide. Upon entering the 
former place of action all was now perfect peace, where 
three or four small parties of both sexes were drinking in 
high mirth and good humour. The women jumped up 
and ran to us, vociferously enquiring of my brother and 
Tethrington what they had been doing with themselves 
for an age past, then directing their attention towards me, 
they asked, " And who is this nice youth pray ? " Being 
informed I was a brother of Henry's, half a dozen of them 
assailed me, and I thought would have stifled me with their 
endearments. One of them was particularly lavish of her 
kindnesses, in whom, to my utter astonishment, I recognised 
one of the ferocious combatants of the former night, whose 
name I now learnt was Burgess. 

Our party adjourned from the public room to a private 
one in the rear of the house, where I at once discovered 
my brother and Tethrington to be quite at home. Burgess 
sung a number of admirable songs, and was very enter- 
taining, as was another sad profligate girl, who had justly 
acquired the name of Blasted Bet Wilkinson. Burgess 
and I became very sociable, and I asked her how it 
happened that she could have been a principal in such 
a horrid broil as I had witnessed ; to which she replied, 
that both herself and her antagonist were exceedingly in- 
toxicated, having drank an unusual quantity of spirits, 
and in their cups had quarrelled ; that the other battle 
royal, of which I was also a spectator arose from the 
man (who was a notorious woman's bully) having basely 
robbed the two who attacked him, that the rest concerned 
were the friends of one party or the other, and acted accord- 
ingly. This Miss Burgess lived for several years afterwards 
with Dibdin, the actor, who had just at the above period 
commenced his theatrical career, in the character of Hodge 
in the comic opera of the Maid of the Mill. 

After spending a couple of hours with great glee at 



86 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Wetherby's, we all crossed the street to Marjoram's, 
which we found well stowed, a large crowd being col- 
lected round the famous and popular Ned Shuter, who, 
although immoderately drunk, was entertaining the circle 
of by-standers, with all sorts of buffoonery and tricka. 
Here too, my companions seemed to be as well known 
and in as high favour as at Wetherby's, for upon our 
approach, an opening was voluntarily made and chairs 
placed for us close to the facetious comedian, who for 
above an hour, by his drollery kept us in a continued 
roar of laughter when he suddenly fell from his seat as if 
he had been shot, and I really feared he was dead, until 
those better acquainted than myself, observed, if he was, 
it was only dead drunk, a finale nightly repeated. ' He 
was then lifted up and carried off like a hog to his lodgings, 
which were in the neighbourhood, and we departed to our 
beds, I being as much pleased with the night's amusement, 
as I had on the former been disgusted. The following day 
I asked my brother Henry how it happened that I, who 
had been above a twelvemonth ranging about the Jelly 
shops, and Bawdy houses of Covent Garden, had never 
met with Burgess, or any of the women I saw at Wetherby's 
and Marjoram's, when he told me the females that frequented 
those two houses, scarcely ever went anywhere else unless 
it were to the Dog and Duck in St. George's Fields, or to 
Bagnige Wells and White Conduit house, near Islington, 
at both which places I had been once or twice, but as I 
never was partial to those kinds of entertainments, nothing 
took me to them but company. 

My Battersea friend, Mr. Smith, had now purchased 
from a Mr. Clark of Christehurch*, in Hampshire, a beautiful 
yacht, about fifty tons burthen, a heavy dull sailer, but 
with capital accommodation, having a spacious cabin aft 
her whole width with sash windows astern. This was used 
as the sitting and eating apartment from thenceforward ; 
on each side were three comfortable cabins with fixed bed 
places, so that a party of six or eight might be well lodged 
on board. Mr. Smith told me he had thoughts of collecting 



ON BOARD THE LOVELY MARY 87 

a few friends and making an excursion of a week or ten 
days, and if I was so inclined and could obtain my father's 
permission, he should be happy that I made one. The next 
time I visited Battersea, he said, Major Sturt, Mr. Pritzler 
and Captain Cecil had arranged the tour, and they proposed 
embarking in the Lovely Mary, his yacht's name, the ensuing 
Monday. I promised to apply to my father, and having 
his leave, to join them at the appointed time. But as I felt 
certain my father would object to my absenting myself 
for so long a period, when there was much business in the 
office, I thought I had better dispense with the application, 
and accordingly putting up some linen and other necessaries 
in a portmanteau, I privately sent them oS on Saturday, 
and on Sunday went myself to Mr. Smith's. After supper, 
instead of retiring to our chambers we went on board to 
sleep, that we might drop down in the night close to London 
Bridge, so as to pass through at high water, and thereby 
secure an entire ebb to start with and carry us clear of all 
the shipping in the Pool. 

We commenced our voyage on the 20th of April, with 
charming clear and open weather, having a fine breeze of 
wind from the Westward, which in five hours carried us 
to Gravesend, at which place we anchored, all hands 
going on shore to call upon Mr. Pendock Neale, an inti- 
mate friend of Mr. Smith's, and acquainted with all the 
party. He held an appointment under the East India 
Company, which made it necessary he should reside at 
Gravesend. He insisted upon our staying the remainder 
of the day with him. At dinner was one of the largest and 
finest flavoured turbots I ever tasted. After being most 
hospitably entertained, at eleven at night we returned to 
our vessel, proceeding downward. 

The following day it blew fresh at South West, which 
rattled us on at such a rate that by dusk we reached 
Margate, landed, and went to Michiner's, where we got 
an excellent supper, and then re-embarked. On the 23rd 
we left the Pier, steering direct for the Nore, at which 
we turned oS by Sheerness, entered the Medway, passing 



88 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Chatham and Rochester, and after a delightful sail up 
that romantic and picturesque river, early in the morning 
of the 25th arrived at Maidstone, and here we spent five 
days very agreeably our head quarters being Mr. Wat- 
man's, a great paper manufacturer, who entertained us 
in a princely style. His mills and extensive works were a 
source of amusement to us several hours in each day, 
every one of our party making (awkwardly enough) a 
sheet of paper. In the evenings little dances and parties 
of the most select kind filled up the time to the hour of 
bed, never later than twelve. 

Early in the morning of the 30th we once more went 
on board the Lovely Mary, leaving the good humoured 
and unostentatious hospitality of Maidstone with much 
regret. As we approached home I began to feel some 
unpleasant doubts respecting the reception I should meet 
with. We arrived at Battersea on the 2nd of May, in 
the evening, where Mr. Smith found a letter from my 
father, written in very severe and reproachful terms re- 
specting me. He had learnt from the family at Batter- 
sea that I was gone down the river. In this letter he 
did Mr. Smith the justice to conclude that I had made 
him believe I had my master's permission to be absent, 
instead of which consent my father stated the clandestine 
manner in which I had felt the house without saying a 
word to any one, leaving business of importance which it 
was my duty to have attended to, totally neglected. He 
concluded by entreating of Mr. Smith never more to 
admit me within his doors, for I should only bring dis- 
grace upon every one who shewed me kindness, repaying 
them with black ingratitude, if not worse, if worse could 
be. 

This address gave Mr. Smith real concern, and certainly 
both vexed and mortified me from tending to lower me in the 
opinions of my friends. I was however too firmly established 
with Mr. Smith and his family to lose their esteem without 
a struggle. A consultation was held by them and Major 
Sturt, unknown to me, what steps should be taken most 



COFFEE HOUSES 89 

likely to soften my father's anger, when, as I subsequently 
found, Mr. Smith determined to call upon him in person 
and plead for me, which he did, and so successfully, that 
instead of upbraidings and reproaches which I felt I so 
richly deserved, my father upon my going home only shook 
his head, observing that I had a most zealous and powerful 
advocate in Mr. Smith, and ill merited the affectionate 
regards of such respectable and worthy people. " I have," 
continued my father, " given my word once more to pass 
over this new transgression, and I hope by future diligence 
and attention you will make up for lost time." 

Thus easily did I escape from a serious scrape, and vowed 
to myself to follow my father's advice and fulfil his hopes, 
but alas, I never possessed a single grain of self command 
or control over my passions ; one short week ended all my 
good resolves, and I sunk deeper than ever in error. Not a 
night but I passed a considerable portion of in every degree 
of dissipation and debauchery, mixing with the most 
abandoned of both sexes. In addition to Wetherby's and 
Marjoram's, I had now discovered two other places of 
the same stamp, or if the degrees of depravity and infamy 
would admit, even worse. The one was facetiously called, 
" The Soup Shop," a dirty vile ale house in Bridges Street, 
Drury lane, where it was the custom to take a basin of ox 
cheek broth at six o'clock in the morning, a villainous 
compound of filth I took special care not a drop of should 
ever pass my lips. The other new discovery was signifi- 
cantly named, " The Finish." This was a shed in Covent 
Garden market, thentofore dignified by the title of, " Car- 
penter's Coffee house," and where they still continued to 
dole out a Spartan mixture, difficult to ascertain the in- 
gredients of but which was served as coffee. Returning 
home from these intemperate scenes if my father was out 
of town, as he generally was, I went to bed for four or five 
hours, but if in town I went directly to my desk, where, 
laying my head down upon it, I soon fell asleep, in which 
state Mr. Bayley would often find me, when, awaking me, 
he with a solemn face would say, " Indeed, William, these 



90 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

are sad doings, and God only knows to what a life of such 
excess will lead you." 

Unfortunately for me, wlio required no encouragement, 
or any persons to shew me bad example, my own evil 
propensities being quite sufficient, there was at this time 
in the office a young man, employed as a hackney writer, 
whose name was Daniel Weir. He was Irish, a smart well 
made fellow, and a great admirer of the fair sex, with whom 
he was a universal favorite, and I believe from the same 
reason as Tethrington. This person sometimes accom- 
panied me in my nocturnal rambles, which he found both 
pleasant and convenient, not being overtmrthened with 
cash, and wherever we went I being paymaster. In return 
however for my money he at different times introduced me 
to women of a very superior sort to any I had thentofore 
been acquainted with. These were mostly in keeping, and 
as I suspect is almost always the case, were unfaithful to 
their immediate patrons, always having one or more other 
gallants. 

One of Weir's fair friends to whom he had introduced 
me, called herself Fanny Temple, and afterwards changed 
it to Hartford. A finer woman in every respect could 
not be. With her I became so great a favorite that 
she never was happy unless I was with her. Unlike the 
generality of women in that line of life, her manners 
were perfectly correct, nor did I ever once hear a 
vulgarism or coarse expression pass her lips. She wafs 
mistress of music, had an enchanting voice, which she 
managed with the utmost skill, danced elegantly and spoke 
French, assez Uen. She inhabited an excellent house in 
Queen Ann Street, and had besides neat lodgings in the 
country, pleasantly situated near the water side just above 
Hammersmith, and kept her own chariot, with suitable 
establishment of servants, the whole being paid for, as 
well as her domestic expenses, which were liberally allowed 
for, by a gentleman of rank and fashion, possessed of a 
splendid fortune, whom she told me my family was well 
acquainted with. Yet notwithstanding I frequently en- 



FANNY HARTFORD 91 

treated her to tell me his name, she never would, observ- 
ing that she had made a solemn promise never to divulge 
it to any body whatsoever, and being a most liberal and 
worthy man, she considered herself bound in honour and 
conscience never to betray him. This being a line of conduct 
every man of sentiment must approve, I ceased to importune 
her on the subject, In a few weeks however I discovered 
the person without the smallest blame attaching to her. 
Thus, she and I had been one evening to Eanelagh, from 
whence I had accompanied her to Queen Ann Street, 
there to pass the night. Having supped, we were just 
stepping into bed, when we heard some one running 
quickly up stairs, and a great bustle in the passage, where- 
upon she exclaimed, "My God! I am undone, there is 

Mr. " I darted into a closet, the door of which was 

scarce closed, when in he walked, and to my inexpressible 
astonishment I recognized the voice of a gentleman I was 
perfectly well acquainted with, whom I knew was married 
to an amiable and accomplished woman, who had borne 
him eight children, all then living, with which wife he was 
upon the best terms, and they were by the world considered 
as a rare instance of conjugal felicity in high life. He was 
too at this time considerably above sixty years old. Fanny, 
with a readiness that seldom fails the sex, called the maid 
to take out and air clean sheets, leading her friend by the 
hand into the dining room. The servant instantly locked 
the door, and gathering up my clothes, carried them down 
to the parlour, to which I softly descended, there dressed 
myself, and made good my retreat. 

The following day I received a note from Fanny desiring 
me to come and dine with her. I accordingly went, when 
after a warm embrace she observed what a narrow escape 
we had had, where one minute more must have been fatal. 
It seems the coachman had just stepped across the street 
to order some porter for himself and kitchen companions, 
leaving the door ajar in the interim. The old gentleman 
arriving, he of course entered unannounced, and was march- 
ing up stairs when the cook hearing him, and fearing what 



92 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

might be the case, ran up screeching, and crying " thieves/* 
in order to prepare us. The result is already known. 
Fanny informed me everything passed off without the least 
suspicion on his part. He had asked what ailed her, for 
she seemed uneasy and flurried, which she ascribed partly 
to head ache, and parbly to the unexpected happiness at 
seeing him ! 

Early in this month, May, the famous riots occurred, 
on account of Mr. Wilkes, then confined in the King's 
Bench prison under a sentence of the Court of King's Bench. 
A prodigious mob assembled for several days successively, 
in front of the prison, but no violence was committed until 
the 9th when a large body of sailors made their appearance, 
some of whom like monkeys scrambling up the wall, were 
in a minute at the window of Mr. Wilkes's apartment, 
whom they offered directly to liberate, declaring if he gave 
the word they would soon have the prison level with the 
ground. Mr. Wilkes very prudently begged them to 
desist, expressed his thanks for their personal regard to 
him, adding he had no doubt the laws of his country would 
ultimately do him justice. He therefore besought them 
to do as he should, that was patiently to wait the result, 
and that they would return peaceably to their own homes. 
Upon which they gave three cheers and dispersed, saying 
they would come again the next day, in case he (Wilkes) 
should change his mind and wish to come out. Upon their 
arrival at the prison, Mr. Thomas, the Marshall, being much 
alarmed, sent off for a party of the guards. These soldiers 
very imprudently on reaching the prison, where not one of 
the sailors then remained, began beating and maltreating 
the lookers on, which irritated the mob, some of whom threw 
stones at the Guards, but nothing serious happened that day. 

As I had been present the whole of the 9th and 
concluded there would be a renewal of the disturbance 
on the following day, I was stationed close to the prison 
gates by nine in the morning of the 10th, where I found 
already assembled a large party of the Third Regiment of 
Guards, which consisted principally of Scotchmen, a eir- 



WHKES AND LIBERTY 93 

cumstance that tended to increase the mischief. Several 
Justices of the Peace, and an immense body of constables 
were also in attendance. At ten o'clock full a thousand 
seamen made their promised visit, again mounting to Mr. 
Wilkes's window, offering him liberty if he chose it, not- 
withstanding the presence of the " lobsters " (as they 
called the soldiers), Wilkes renewing his entreaties that 
they would depart quietly. They as before, cheered, 
and did so, a mere gaping inoffensive mob remaining. A 
stupid, over zealous Justice however thought proper to read 
the Riot Act, which not one hundredth part of the crowd 
knew had been done, after which the same blockhead of a 
Magistrate (Mr. Gillam) ordered the constables to disperse 
the mob, which they attempted by seizing several inoffensive 
persons and delivering them into charge of the military. 
This ill timed and unnecessary violence at last raised a 
general indignation amongst the spectators; loud hisses 
commenced and abuse of the Scotch soldiers, and some 
few stones were thrown, one of which hit Gillam, where- 
upon the Magistrates ordered the Guards to fire, which 
the infernal scoundrels instantly did, with ball, whereby 
several persons lost their lives, some of them not being 
in the mob at all, for the vile assassins fired in all directions, 
and even across the public high road. One poor woman was 
killed seated upon a cart-load of hay going by at the time. 
At the time the firing commenced I was leaning upon the 
railing that separated the fields from the road, talking to 
a gentleman who stood near me, and we were mutually 
reprobating the infamous conduct of the soldiers and 
Magistrates when we observed several of the Guards running 
towards us, and soon they were in pursuit of a man in a 
scarlet waistcoat, who jumped over the rail within a foot 
of us, four soldiers being about fifty yards behind him in 
chase. My new acquaintance and I followed. The pursued 
man ran round a windmill, when finding himself in danger 
of being overtaken, he made for an Inn near the Borough, 
kept by a Mr. Allen, the yard of which he entered, darting 
through a barn r A as a cow house, having a door at each 



M MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

end, two of the Guards being then close at his heels. At 
the very instant he passed the second door, the son of Mr, 
Allen entered by the opposite one, and unluckily having a 
red waistcoat on, one of the soldiers, upon seeing him, pre- 
sented his firelock and the young man in a fright dropped 
on his knees, when the soldier fired killing him upon the 
spot. All this was the work of a minute, my companion 
and myself being witnesses of the whole transaction. The 
mob, now justly irritated at the brutality of the soldiers, 
became outrageous, and volleys of stones flew in every 
direction. The soldiers loaded and fired again and again, 
by which many lives were wantonly sacrificed. It struck 
both me and my companion as wonderful that the soldier 
who shot Allen, and his comrades, were suffered to return 
unmolested, except by hooting and hissing, to the main 
body, but the uproar then increasing, it was thought a 
proper precaution to withdraw him from duty, and he was 
lodged within the prison. The fellow pretended that it 
was not his intention to have fired, and that his musket 
went off upon half cock. A very large body of Horse Guards 
having now joined the foot, galloping round the ground, 
striking every one they met violently with their broad 
swords, made the remaining there any longer a service 
of danger. I therefore proposed leaving the spot, to which 
my new acquaintance acceded, and we agreed to dine to- 
gether, during which meal I learnt that his name was 
Baker, that he resided at Deal, in which town he had a 
large estate in houses. With this gentleman I afterwards 
became intimate. 

A Coroner's inquest being held upon the mangled corpse 
of young Allen, after a full investigation of the circum- 
stances, returned a verdict of " Wilful murder by certain 
persons whose names they could not discover, but whom 
they had ascertained to be private soldiers in His Majesty's 
3rd Eegiment of Foot Guards." A monument was erected 
over the grave, with an inscription stating that the de- 
ceased had been barbarously murdered by a party of 
Scotchmen belonging to the Third Regiment of Guards, 



CHAPTER IX 

DISGRACED 

IN the month of June 1768, my early favorite. Nanny 
Harris, whom I have already so often mentioned, died, 
a martyr to a life of excess. The death of this young 
creature caused me real and unfeigned sorrow. 

A great part of the day I generally passed at tennis, 
billiards, the Red House with Silver Tail, and in every 
sort of dissipation. Sometimes I went with parties 
upon the water, and I still continued an uncommonly 
expert and skilful rower. I was one of the eight pro- 
prietors of a rowing cutter, in which we made excursions 
upon the Thames ; wore very smart uniforms, having a 
waterman in a rich livery to steer us. In the end of June 
1768, we performed what was by all the Thames people, 
and those conversant in such matters, deemed a very 
extraordinary feat, nothing equal to which had ever been 
done before. We started from Roberta's, at Lambeth, 
at high water, being then four o'clock in the morning ; 
reached Gravesend, a distance of forty miles, by half 
past seven ; at nine left it on our return, passed Lambeth 
a little after twelve, and got to the Castle at Richmond 
by three, where we dined and remained near four hours^; 
at seven got again on board our cutter, and by half past 
ten at night landed at Lambeth, having thus rowed our- 
selves full one hundred and thirty miles in thirteen hours. 
In July of the same year, we exhibited ourselves in a very 
superior style. The Earl of Lincoln, who had a beautiful 
house at Weybridge, near Walton Bridge, having with him a 
large party of the nobility, male and female, upon a visit, 
adopted various modes of amusing them, amongst others 

95 



96 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

he planned what was termed a Regatta, to which all the 
gentlemen of the neighbourhood who kept boats were 
invited. The whole were to assemble at the foot of his 
Lordship's terrace, from thence in procession (the order 
of moving being previously arranged) drop gently down 
with the stream to Hampton Court, in the garden of which 
an elegant collation was prepared in tents put up for the 
occasion. After remaining there till towards sunset, they 
were to pull up again to his seat, where a magnificent 
dinner awaited them, with fireworks and superb illumina- 
tions, the night to conclude with a Ball. This Entertain- 
ment we determined to partake of, as far as with propriety 
and civility we could ; and having heard and seen the 
costly preparations the noble host had made for the re- 
ception of his party, we agreed at least not to disgrace the 
cavalcade we intended to accompany. We accordingly 
had our cutter entirely new dressed and fitted up. She 
was painted of a bright azure blue, with gold mouldings 
and ornaments, the oars and every article finished in the 
same way, richly embellished with aquatic devices. The 
awning was of the same colour, in silk, as were the dresses 
of the eight rowers, the jackets and trousers being trimmed 
with an uncommonly neat spangle and foil lace, and made 
easy, so that we could row perfectly well in them. We 
wore black round hats with very broad gold bands, and small 
bright blue cockades in front. The ensign was of richest 
silks ; under the awning we had capital French horns 
and clarinets, the performers being dressed exactly like 
the rowers. 

We sent the cutter, covered with matting, by West 
Country barge to Walton, where we assembled in the 
morning of the day of the entertainment, and having 
equipped ourselves at the inn close to the bridge, we started 
from thence to attend the Regatta. The novelty, as well 
as the splendour of our appearance, drew every eye upon 
us, and we undoubtedly made a very showy and brilliant 
figure, far surpassing any one of the boats in the proces- 
sion. We pulled what is called the Man of war's stroke. 



A REGATTA AT HAMPTON COURT 97 

The rapid manner in winch we moved in all directions 
and our masterly manoeuvres, surprized, and seemed highly 
to gratify the ladies of the party, so much so that nothing 
but our boat was attended to. Thus we accompanied the 
noble party to Hampton Court, at times rowing ahead, and 
then again dropping astern of the Fleet. Upon bringing too, 
Lord Lincoln sent a servant to our helmsman to enquire who 
we were, and having ascertained that we were gentlemen, 
he very politely came in person to our boat, returned his 
own and his party's thanks for the great addition we had 
made to their entertainment, and requested our company, 
to partake as well of their cold collation as of the dinner 
in the evening. This we as civilly declined, but our band 
continued playing alternately with their own while they 
remained at Hampton Court, his Lordship sending us an 
abundant supply of refreshments, with ices and iced wines 
of all sorts. The repast being over, we attended the pro- 
cession back to Weybridge, our band playing martial 
tunes whilst the company were landing. Being all on shore, 
we arose, and took leave with three cheers, which were 
most cordially returned by the gentlemen and ladies 
waving their handkerchiefs, and Lord Lincoln again very 
politely thanking us for our company. 

It is scarcely necessary to add that such a life as I led 
must unavoidably have been attended with a much greater 
expenditure than my funds admitted of. In July my 
father proposed taking a journey to Paris, with my mother, 
sister Mary, and brother Joseph, to see the twins then 
in the Convent of Panthemont. When preparing for this 
excursion he was more in London than usual, and soon 
discovered the irregularity of my conduct ; aware that 
my allowances could not enable me either to dress as 
1 did, or to be so much from home, he desired Mr. Bayley 
immediately and accurately to investigate my office accounts. 
This being done accordingly, a deficiency of near five 
hundred pounds appeared within the last seven months. 
Disgrace deservedly followed : my father declared himself 
at a loss how to act, or what to do with me. 



8 OF WILLIAM 

In a most disagreeable state of suspense I continued a 
week, during which I never made my appearance before 
the family. At the end of that time I thought of apply- 
ing to my mother to intercede in my favour, and I did 
so. At first she peremptorily refused, observing that I 
had behaved so uncommonly ill, and that too after such 
repeated forgivenesses, that she had not a word to say 
in my behalf, nor dared she entertain a serious hope 
that I should ever forsake the evil courses I had so un- 
fortunately fallen into, and, she was sorry to be obliged 
to add, against which I did not seem to make the 
slightest struggle. At this period however, I possessed 
the power of persuasion in a considerable degree, especially 
with those fond and partial as my mother was, and finally 
I prevailed. My mother kindly undertook to make the 
application , 'and having made it succeeded. Another tender, 
and to me, truly distressing scene took place between my 
father and mo, at which 1 made a thousand protestations 
of altering my habits of life, and 1 can truly say I once 
more resolved rigidly to keep my word, and become a new 
man. My father assured me every thing that had passed 
should be buried in oblivion, and that no one should ever 
upbraid me respecting my late irregularities. As a proof 
of the reliance he placed in me, and the confidence he had 
in my honour, he said he should leave me sole master of 
both the Twickenham and St. Albans Street houses, with 
the keys of the cellars, &c., the use of his saddle horses, 
and, in short, everything appertaining to town or country ; 
his carriage and pair of horses he intended taking with 
Ixim to Paris. 

On the 6th of August, the family departed for Dover, 
co which place my father had previously written to hire 
a vessel to conduct them aE across the Channel. On 
his leaving London lie gave me a draft upon his Bankers, 
Messrs. Drummonds, for seventy odd pounds, also a letter 
to Mr. Motteux, desiring Mm to settle an account then 
subsisting between them, and in case of my calling for it 
to pay to me whatever the balance in his favour might 



CRICKET, WESTMINSTER a ETON 99 

be. They left St. Albans Street before five o'clock in the 
morning, and as I had got up to see them depart, I then 
returned to my bed to finish my sleep. At .ten I arose fully 
determined to act correctly, and in no way betray the 
confidence my father had so generously placed in me. 

It being the long vacation, and Circuit time, there was 
little to do in the office. I therefore resolved to pass a 
couple of days at Twickenham, principally with a view 
to avoid encountering any of my dissolute companions, 
and keeping myself out of the way of temptation. At 
noon I mounted a beautiful blood mare of my father's, 
and rode to Twickenham, where I dined and passed the 
rest of the day with our neighbour, Mr. Hindley. The 
next morning I went over to Hampton, to enquire about 
a Cricket match, which had been made more than a month 
before by the Duke of Dorset, between Eleven Gentlemen 
who had been educated at Westminster, and Eleven of 
Eton, in which I was nominated as one of the former, 
being considered a famous stop behind wicket. At the Inn 
I was informed that great enquiries had been made after 
me, and much surprize expressed at my not attending the 
days of practice, of which due notice had been sent, and 
I certainly received, but this happening during my disgrace 
I could not leave home. I further learnt that it was to be 
played the following Wednesday on Moulsey Hurst, for 
twenty guineas each person, the amount to be given 
to the poor of the two parishes of Moulsey and Hampton. 
Any one of either side neglecting to attend on the day 
was to forfeit twenty guineas. The hour of pitching the 
wickets was eleven. 

The next day I returned to Town, and immediately 
went to Queen Ann Street, not having seen my fair 
friend Fanny Hartford for a fortnight, though I had 
written her a particular account of all that had occurred 
in my family. She most heartily congratulated me upon 
the good resolutions I had made, and no Bishop could 
have penned a better lecture upon morality than she did, 
strenuously advising me to shew myself deserving of the 



100 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

good opinion iny father entertained of me, and worthy of 
the implicit confidence he had placed in me. Above all 
things she recommended me to persevere in my de- 
termination of keeping out of the way of temptation, by 
avoiding all my gay associates, fairly confessing she had 
no other reliance upon any of my good resolutions than 
that of my avoiding evil example. " If," said she, "you will 
put yourself under my care, I will engage to save your 
honour, so seriously given in deposit to your father. Come 
to my house as often as your requisite attention to business 
will permit. We will go together to the public places that 
are open, and I shall at least have the merit of keeping 
you out of harm's way." For two days I did so, when 
mentioning the Cricket match she exerted all her persuasive 
powers to prevent my going to it, saying she would cheer- 
fully pay double the forfeit rather than have me there, 
and she did every thing she could devise to deter me from 
making one of the set. I argued that I could be in no 
danger from going ; the party consisting of none but young 
men of the best connexions, several of fashion and large 
fortune, the head of it being His Grace of Dorset also 
Lord Francis Osborne, Lords Bulkeley and Molesworth, 
my old friend Bob Henley, Sir Watkin Williams Wynne, 
Mr. Colquhoun, Eamus, Pinnock, &c., not one of my 
London acquaintances being likely to be present. She 
at last, though very unwillingly, consented to my going, 
exacting a faithful promise that I would avoid excess in 
wine at the dinner which I had told her was to be at the 
Toy after the match was over. 

The next morning, being Tuesday, I went to Drum 
monds and received the amount of my father's draft, 
which was paid in the Portuguese coin of half Joes, 01 
six and thirty shilling pieces, at that time made current 
in Great Britain. I then called to say adieu to Hartford, 
who renewed her endeavours to prevent my going, but 
finding me inflexible, she contented herself with very 
gravely requesting me to bear in mind my sacred promises 
to my father and mother, I again assuring her, as the 



THE BROTHERS WILLIAMS 101 

fact was, that I run no risk whatever from the Cricket 
party, I then went home, put on my boots, and by way 
of lounging away an hour walked into the Park, intending 
to pass through it up Constitution hill and to Hall's stables, 
near Hyde Park Corner, where my father's horses then stood. 
Unhappily for me, in the Mai, I met two young men to 
whom I was very partial, brothers, of the name of Williams, 
both born in the West Indies, from whence they had been 
sent to England for education by their Guardians, and had 
been in England about five years when I first became 
acquainted with them. They were lively, pleasing lads, 
according to fame living at a rate greatly beyond their 
means. They expressed much joy at meeting me saying^ 
I must join a nice snug little party at the Shakespear 
that day. This I pronounced impossible, telling them I 
was then on my way to Twickenham, and that the following 
day I was to play in a great Cricket match upon Moulsey 
Hurst. They continued walking by my side, soliciting 
me to join their gay set, which need not interfere at all 
with the Cricket ; that Vincent and Newton (two remarkably 
pleasant women) were to be present, and that it was a choice 
party, one after my own heart. I resisted long, but finally 
agreed to attend, determining however within myself 
to avoid excess and to leave them early. Alas ! I never 
could depend upon myself when once embarked in convivial 
society. The consequences of that, to me, fatal night, 
gave an extraordinary turn to the whole tenor of my future 
life. Instead therefore of proceeding to Twickenham, 
I merely took a ride in Hyde Park, returned to Hall's and 
desired the mare might be saddled and ready for me at 
nine o'clock in the evening, by which hour I should be 
there again. 

Booted and spurred as I was, I then went to the 
Shakespear, where I found the two Williams's, a man 
of the name of Jennings, a great sportsman, who 
kept several racers, and lived in a most dashing style, 
though no one knew from whence his resources came, 
a Captain Taylor, who commanded the HammMre, East 



102 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Indiaman, Lowry, an eminent Banker's son, Clapereau, 
a remarkably handsome youth, who was afterwards for 
some years a companion of the Prince of Wales, the above 
mentioned Misses Vincent and Newton, with two other 
equally jovial damsels. The whole party, male and female, 
were of the description yclept " hard goers." This did 
not alarm me, for in those days I could keep way with the 
best of them at fair drinking. After my spirits were ex- 
hilarated by a liberal dose of champagne (still keeping 
in mind my determination to go to Twickenham that 
night) one of the waiters came in and said a gentleman 
wished to speak with me. I went out and found Tomkins, 
the master of the house, who directly said : 

" I sent for you, Mr. Hickey, to put you on your guard. 
You are in bad company such as you should avoid ; above 
all things avoid getting drunk. Take my advice as a well 
wisher ; I promised Tethrington and your brother, if ever 
I saw you in danger, to protect you. You are so now, so 
take care." 

I felt all he said, and assured him I would be on my 
guard and leave the party immediately. Upon my return 
into the room Newton was singing one of her best and most 
convivial songs, in the progress of which at least half a 
dozen bumpers were toped down. Her example was 
followed by Vincent in a song of the same kind. I was 
next called upon, and sung " Let poor priggish Parsons, &c." 
By the time I had finished, so much wine was in my head 
that prudence and all my good intentions were drowned ; 
none then so vociferous for more champagne as myself, 
and, as was always the case with me when at a certain 
pitch of intoxication, I became desperate, drank past 
all recollection, and of what ensued during several subsequent 
hours I was wholly insensible, but collected the various 
circumstances at subsequent periods, and from different 
persons. Between eight and nine o'clock it seems the 
women, tired of drinking, proposed going to tea at the 
Pack horse, Turnham Green, and there have a swing. 
Carriages were ordered and away we went, I being drunk 



THE VICTIM OF SHARKS 103 

as a beast. After tea, Jennings proposed a supper at 
Stacey's the Bedford Arms in Covent Garden, which was 
vehemently opposed by Captain Taylor, and Clapereau, 
who from shirking the wine had kept tolerably sober ; 
I was decidedly for the supper, which was therefore de- 
termined on and to Stacey's we went, Clapereau accompany- 
ing, solely with the humane intention of rescuing me from 
the fangs of the harpies he saw I was the object of. He 
therefore begged and entreated me to let him carry me home, 
which only excited my anger and indignation. After sub- 
mitting to the grossest abuse from me for a long time, 
he at last got up, told the triumvirate that he knew I 
had a considerable sum of money about me and was too 
stupidly drunk to take care of myself, that they were there- 
fore bound in honour to protect and take care of me, and 
with this hint to them that he suspected their intentions, 
he left me to my fate. The three worthies, Jennings and 
the Williams's, having thus succeeded in getting me to 
themselves picked my pocket ! literally so, as I have 
every reason to believe. 

My first return of sense or recollection was upon wak- 
ing in a strange, dismal looking room, my head aching 
horridly, pains of a violent nature in every limb, and 
deadly sickness at the stomach. From the latter I 
was in some degree relieved by a very copious vomiting. 
Getting out of bed, I looked out of the only window in 
the room, but saw nothing but the backs of old houses, 
from which various miserable emblems of poverty were 
displayed, such as ragged shifts, petticoats, and other 
parts of female wardrobes hanging to dry. I next took 
up my breeches to examine the pockets ; well stored as 
they had been the preceding day not a. sixpence remained. 
My gold watch and appendages were likewise gone. To 
describe my feelings, mental and bodily, upon this occasion 
would require a much abler pen than mine. At that moment 
I do not believe in the world there existed a more wretched 
creature than myself. 

I passed sorae minutes in a state little short of de$- 



104 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

pair; I rung a bell I found in the room for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining where I had got to, and other 
particulars. No one answered until I had three or four 
times repeated my application to the bell rope, when at 
last a yawning man, who seemed half asleep, made his 
appearance immediately exclaiming, " Good God, how 
drunk and riotous you was, Sir ! I never saw anything 
to equal it." I enquired where I was, observing that the 
night before I had a considerable sum of money, of which 
nothing was left, my watch, chain, and seals being also 
gone. The man replied that I was at the Cross Keys Bagnio, 
in Little Eussell Street, Drury Lane, having been brought 
there by the watchmen at five o'clock in the morning, 
in woeful plight ; that the watchmen said I had been turned 
out of Wetherby's, which they were not surprized at, for 
so noisy and ungovernable a young gentleman they never 
before met with ; that they were obliged to summon a 
number ere they could secure me, which having effected, 
they had determined to convey me to Covent Garden 
watch house, there to wait the rising of a Magistrate. 
But two of those respectable Guardians of the night stood 
my friends, saying they knew me well from frequenting 
the houses in that neighbourhood, and that I had given 
them many a shilling to drink ; one of the waiters also 
coming out from Wetherby's became a zealous advocate 
for me, and assuring the watchmen I was a generous 
fellow who would amply reward them, he recommended 
their carrying me to the Cross Keys, in the same Street, 
which they accordingly did, I resisting as lopg as I was able ; 
that upon giving me into the hands of the waiters the 
watchmen pointed out that I had lost one of my silver 
spurs, they knew not where, but supposed whilst I was 
Struggling with them, but that my watch was safe, the 
waiter pulling it from his fob. He further said he had 
searched my breeches pockets in presence of the watchmen, 
and found them quite empty. The recovery of my watch, 
which was a valuable one, was some consolation. I found 
it was then just nine o'clock. 



PLAYS IN WESTMINSTER v. ETON 

Whilst putting on my clothes, the waiter assis!|ft^ me, 
he observed on taking iip my coat there was 
sounded like money. Whereupon, feeling in the 
I, to my inexpressible joy, found seven half Joes, or 
six and thirtys, and from the other pocket I took a letter 
arhich proved to be my father's to Mr. Motteux enclosing 
the draft for balance of an account. This was like a 
reprieve to a man under sentence of death ; I liberally 
rewarded the waiter and watchmen, two of whom I 
was informed were waiting at the door for me, and al- 
though so ill that I could scarcely hold up my head, I got 
into a haqkney coach, directing to be driven to St. Albans 
Street. I vomited out of the coach window the whole 
way to the great entertainment of the foot passengers. 

On my arrival at home, the servants were shocked to see 
the condition I was in, looking pale as a corpse. They 
strenuously recommended my going to bed, but that I 
declared absolutely impossible, as I must be at Moulsey 
in little more than an hour. The clearing my stomach 
of the vile stuff it contained had in some measure relieved 
me, though I still had an excruciating head ache. 

Whilst changing my clothes the servants prepared some 
very strong coffee, which proved of infinite benefit. Hav- 
ing washed, put on clean linen, and had my hair dressed, 
I again stepped into the same coach that brought me 
home, and drove to Hall's stables, stopping on the way 
to purchase a new pair of spurs, and a whip, for that was 
also lost. By the time I mounted the mare it was a quarter 
past ten, so that I had only three quarters to go twelve 
miles in. I made the noble animal (always willing enough 
to dash on) put her best leg foremost, and notwithstanding 
a horrible head ache, and at times sickness, I went at speed 
the whole distance, the clock striking eleven just as I 
entered Hampton. I found the contending parties then 
in the act of crossing the Thames, having got a volunteer 
to supply my place as they had given me up. I instantly 
followed and thus saved my credit and my money. 

Our party proved successful, after a hard match. As the 



106 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Westminsters insisted, we should have won easier had 1 
played as usual, but I was so ill all the time that I let several 
balls pass me that ought not to have done so, by which our 
adversaries gained a number of notches. We then adjourned 
to the Toy, where a magnificent dinner was prepared, 
no part of which could I relish, the loss of my money the 
night before, and the early forfeiture of my promises to 
my parents, weighing heavy on my spirits. Even champagne 
failed to cheer me ; I could not rally. The moment there- 
fore the bill was called for, and our proportions adjusted 
and paid, I mounted my mare, and in sober sadness gently 
rode to my father's at Twickenham, a distance of between 
two and three miles. 

I never could account for the seven pieces of gold, and 
the draft upon Motteux, being in my coat pockets, nor 
how they came there, unless, with the degree of cunning 
that lunatics generally shew, the same sentiment operating 
with me drunk as I was, I secreted them by shifting them 
from my breeches to my coat with the idea of saving 
something. Clear it is, I think, that my scoundrel com- 
panions would not have let even that small proportion 
of the booty escape them, had they known I possessed 
it. Possibly my father's draft upon Motteux they might 
have left as useless, from not having my endorsement 
upon it. 

Whilst upon the subject, I may as well conclude the 
account of this transaction, and the history of the three 
plunderers. The way I discovered the robbery was 
this : Walking in St. James's park, near three months 
after the circumstance above related had happened, one 
of the Williams's joined me, and, after v the customary 
salutations were exchanged, he began to speak of the 
Shakespear and Bedford Arms party, observing how much 
concerned he had been at my obstinately persevering in 
my determination to play, notwithstanding the rest op- 
posed it, whereby I had been a sufferer. Conscious, and 
certain as I was, that in the whole course of my life I never 
the perioa to propose gambling, nor ver played at 



HOW HE WAS ROBBED 107 

any games but tennis and billiards, and that for amuse- 
ment, but at the same time anxious to gain all the informa- 
tion I could relative to that night, I appeared to acquiesce 
in all he said, observing that it arose from my being so 
abominably drunk. I added that I had paid dearly for 
my folly, having lost near seventy pounds. Whereupon 
Williams, with great quickness, replied : 

" Oh no ! not near so much, you did not lose more than 
fifty pounds, at most." 

I then said : 

" Why really, my head was so full of wine that I have a 
very imperfect recollection about the matter, and do not 
even remember what we played at." 

" Dear I " answered Williams, " I wonder you forget that, 
because it was you that named the game of Brag, declaring 
you would play at nothing else." 

"And pray," asked I, "how did I perform? Like a 
novice I suspect." 

" Oh no, very well, and sharp enough I assure you." 

" That's not a little extraordinary," said I, " for it so 
happens that I never played, or even saw the game of 
Brag played in the course of my life, nor do I at this moment 
know a single card at it." 

The rascal looked quite confounded, began to hem and 
haw, to talk of the weather, horse racing, and other mattera 
in quick succession, when finding I made no answer to any 
of the subjects he thus broached, he aSected to see a person 
he wanted to speak to upon business of importance and 
suddenly darted off. 

Having learnt the above circumstances from one of 
the party concerned, I immediately went to Stacey to 
ask some further particulars. He made no difficulty in 
telling me that Jennings was the person who called for 
cards, and that two packs were taken up, neither of 
which were opened, and he was positive no cards were 
played at all. "Indeed," added he, "you was so drunk 
as to be utterly incapable of knowing what you was about, 
and I recommended that a Chair should be celled for to 



108 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

convey you home, to which the gentlemen acceded, and 
I ordered a waiter to call one. 55 Thus it is beyond all 
doubt that they actually picked my pocket ! The fate 
of these three men was extraordinary. The elder Williams 
shortly afterwards was thrown from his horse at Guildford 
races and broke his neck ; the younger brother having 
run out of every thing was thrown into the Eleet prison by 
his creditors, where being in want of the common necessaries 
of life, he finished his career by putting a pistol to his head. 
Jennings was taken up for a highway robbery, tried, and 
but for the leniency of his prosecutor must have suffered 
at Tyburn. He was transported for life. So much for my 
three precious friends, 



CHAPTER X 

THE LAST STIIAW 

I REMAINED at Twickenham the following day, being 
far from recovered from my debauch of two days before. 
In the evening feeling better, I went to Kew Gardens 
to see some fireworks, which were to be exhibited in honour 
of the Prince of Wales's birthday, at which the King of 
Denmark, then just arrived in England, was present. 
From Kew I returned to sleep at Twickenham, On the 
morning of the 14th I mounted my horse and rode to town. 
I found Mr. Bayley at his post, but as I had requested his 
permission to be absent a few days on account of the Cricket 
match, nothing was said to me on that subject, except his 
remarking that I looked very ill. After staying a few honrs 
in the office, I walked up to Fanny Hartford's, but she had 
left town that morning for a short time. On my return 
I casually met my brother Henry, who told me Tethrington 
and three other jolly dogs were to meet him at Mrs. Har- 
rington's, at Charing Cross, that day, and there dine, 
and he asked me to join them, which I consented to and 
accordingly went, but an unaccountable depression of 
spirits so harassed me I could not get on. The party rallied 
me and plied champagne and burgundy. It was in vain, 
and finding this, Tethrington kindly advised me to go home 
to bed, and he had no doubt I should be perfectly well the 
next day and able to enjoy the society of the same set 
who were to meet and dine together at the Rose tavern. 

I did as recommended and had a tolerable night's rest ; 
still, I rose sadly dejected, and after taking a long ride, 
feeling myself unequal to encounter the gaiety of the Rose 
party, I took a solitary meal at Slaughter's at an early 
hour. In the afternoon I walked towards Chelsea- in- 
tending to cross over to the Red house, but at Pimlico 

109 



110 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

I was overtaken by some acquaintances who said they 
were going to see Balloni played, an Italian game then 
just come into fashion and played at a public house at 
Pimlico. As I had never seen it I joined them and looked 
on until dusk, when we went into the house to which the 
Balloni ground was attached, and drank coffee. It was 
then proposed to spend the rest of the evening at Vauxhall, 
whither we all went, but the same lowness of spirits op- 
pressing me I left the party, and taking a boat I landed 
at Westminster Bridge, from whence I walked to Queen 
Ann Street, hoping to revive in the society of my fair friend, 
but she not being returned to town, I resolved to go quietly 
home. 

Upon reaching St. Albans Street, about eleven at night, 
I knocked with, I knew not why, a tremulous hand and 
an uneasy sensation I could not account for, which was 
increased by seeing the street door opened by a man 
servant who had attended the family to France ; at the 
same moment I observed trunks in the passage. This 
servant looked melancholy and distressed, but uttered 
not a word. My first idea was that some fatal accident 
had occurred, and I eagerly enquired for my father. The 
servant replied, "My master, Sir, is above in his bed chamber, 
extremely ill." I then concluded this illness had occasioned 
their sudden return, until asking after my mother the same 
servant, bursting into tears, said, "My poor mistress 
is dead." 

This event so sudden, so entirely unexpected, gave me 
the severest shock I ever felt. It instantly came across 
my mind that in those moments I was spending in 
riot, drunkenness and excess, my revered parent was 
breathing her last. Conscience smote me severely, I had 
nothing to palliate my conduct, and I retired to my room 
grievously oppressed in mind, looking forward with terror 
to a meeting with my father, a meeting I was every way 
so ill prepared for, but which I every moment expected 
to be summoned to, feeling too utterly at a loss what to 
say for having so shamefully forfeited my honour. 



HIS MOTHER'S DEATH 111 

My grief for the death of a fond and partial mother was 
ardent and sincere. I however derived a melancholy consola- 
tion from feeling that she had left the world unacquainted 
with my last folly, and scandalous breach of promise. I 
sat myself down upon my bed without taking off my clothes. 
During the night I closed not my eyes, and heard a constant 
bustle and running up and down stairs until five in the 
morning, when worn out by anxiety and want of rest, 
I sunk into a disturbed, unrefreshing slumber for a couple 
of hours, when I rose and softly opening my door I looked 
out. Every thing being quiet, I descended to the kitchen, 
where one of the maids was sitting, who to my utter astonish- 
ment informed me that my father and sister had set off in a 
post chaise for Twickenham before six o'clock. This I 
own was a relief, as it afforded me time to prepare for the 
meeting I so much dreaded with my father. She further 
told me that upon my father's leaving town my elder 
brother retired to his chamber, desiring not to be dis- 
turbed until he rang his bell, as he had been several nights 
with scarce any sleep. This servant was ignorant whether 
my father had made enquiries about me or not. 

Upon my brother's coming down, he informed me that they 
had embarked on board a commodious vessel that had been 
hired for my father on the morning of the 8th of August, 
with a strong wind from the Northward. My poor mother, 
who always had a great dread of the sea, was extremely 
sick, as were the whole family. Tor two hours she remained 
up on deck, when being quite exhausted and faint from 
excessive vomiting, she took the Captain's advice by going 
down to the cabin to which she was assisted by him and 
the cabin boy, neither of the servants being able to move. 
In a few minutes the boy returned up on deck, telling my 
father the lady had laid down upon the bed, and was better, 
appearing to be in a doze. In little more than half an hour 
afterwards they entered Calais Pier, where all motion ceasing 
every one became instantly well, and Molly Jones, descending 
to inform my mother, screamed out that her mistress was 
dead. My father and every one else thereupon rushed 



112 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

towards the cabin. It was alas too true, the vital spark 
had for ever fled, though she looked as if in a tranquil sleep, 
and she who only three hours before was in the full vigour 
of health and spirits, now lay an inanimate, breathless 
corpse. 

My father's distress and agony was beyond description. 
Naturally of uncommonly strong passions, and possessed 
of extraordinary sensibility, the blow so unlooked for, 
so awfully sudden, nearly overwhelmed him. Fortunate 
it was that my brother Joseph was of the party. Though 
equally feeling the irreparable loss he had sustained, he 
had more command over himself than my father, and 
sensible that the peculiarity of their situation required the 
most active exertions, the first step he took was to procure 
the best medical aid that Calais afforded. Two French 
Physicians and a Surgeon went on board the vessel, who, 
upon inspection and examination of the body were all of 
opinion that life was irrecoverably gone, and the cause, 
apoplexy, probably brought on from extreme terror. 

These important points being thus ascertained, my brother 
then applied to the Master, or Captain of the vessel, forth- 
with to convey the family and my mother's corpse back to 
Dover. But this he said was not in his power to do, being 
engaged to transport part of the Danish monarch's suite 
across the Channel, as was the case with every other vessel 
then at Calais, nor indeed could any thing possibly get out 
of the pier, the wind blowing hard and directly into the 
harbour. In this truly distressing situation my father and 
family were not only obliged to quit the sloop, but to have 
the corpse landed also, which the very hour it took place, 
the police and clergy interfered, claiming all the property 
of the deceased from being an heretic. 

With much trouble and at a considerable expense my 
brother at last got all matters arranged. Two days elapsed 
before the King of Denmark's people were embarked, and 
two more ere my brother could procure a vessel to con- 
vey himself and our family to Dover, In the interim my 
mother's corpse had been enclosed in a leaden coffin, and 



CONVEYING THE BODY FROM FRANCE 113 

on the 18th was put on board a small fishing vessel in 
which the family also embarked, except the coachman who 
was left in charge of the carriage and horses, which the 
boat was not large enough to receive. At ten the next 
morning they landed at Dover, and immediately set off 
post for London, Molly Jones and another female servant 
remaining to attend the corpse, which Messrs. Minet and 
Factor of Dover, had undertaken to forward in a proper 
manner to town. 

My brother also told me that my father upon his arrival 
had made particular enquiries about me, but had declined 
seeing Mr. Bayley, from being too ill and too much agitated. 
He had however requested him to go down to Twickenham 
the next day. The same evening (the 17th of August) the 
hearse containing my mother's body, and a mourning coach 
with the servants , reached St. Albans Street. 

The following morning before eight o'clock, Mr. Bayley, 
who also resided in St. Albans Street, sent for me to 
tell me he had the preceding day been to my father at 
Twickenham, whom he found in a most pitiable state and 
so dreadfully affected by the misfortune that had hap- 
pened, that he really apprehended it would break his 
heart. " I was so shocked at finding him so ill " (added 
Mr. Bayley) " that I dared nor venture to say how ill 
you had behaved, and how little I had seen of you 
at the office during the ten days of his absence, but, 
William, the hour of reckoning is at hand ; your father 
will require your presence the moment he acquires strength 
enough to bear the interview. Prepare therefore for it, 
and if you can, to account for your conduct since he has 
been away. Let me also have a statement of the cash 
he left with you, which ought to be entire, as I see by the 
book you have not disbursed a shilling for the office." 

I then briefly and candidly represented to Mr. Bayley 
every circumstance that had occurred, and the consequences 
to me, returning to him the draft upon Motteux, which 
was all that remained. He was sadly shocked, yet, seeing 
my contrition and how much I was distressed, he humanely 



1U MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

forebore all reproaches, merely observing he could not but 
dread the effect a discovery of my misconduct would have 
upon my poor father. 

In three days after my interview with Mr. Bayley, I 
attended my mother's funeral. She was buried in a 
vault constructed for the purpose in Twickenham Church- 
yard, the service being performed with great solemnity 
by Dr. Duval, the then Rector. Previous to this last 
sad ceremony my father removed from his own house at 
Twickenham to my Uncle Boulton's at Coleherne, near 
Kensington, where he was informed of every particular 
relative to me, and I was desired to attend in person at 
Coleherne the following Sunday morning. Could the meeting 
by any means have been avoided, I know not what sacrifice 
I would not have made in preference to encountering it, 
but as I knew it was unavoidable and must take place, 
I began to consider how I should act. At one time I thought 
it would be most pmdent to plead guilty and throw myself 
upon my father's mercy, but then conscience told me I 
had so frequently done the same that I could neither 
flatter myself with the hope of forgiveness, nor of having 
the smallest reliance placed in anything I should say or any 
promises I might make. I then thought of declaring myself 
incapable of fixing steadily to any thing, and that I must 
submit to be forsaken and left to my fate. In short I 
planned twenty different ways for conducting myself 
when before my father, every one of which were forgotten 
and abandoned upon seeing the grief worn countenance, the 
deadly yet strongly speaking melancholy impressed upon 
his sorrowful and expressive features. I was struck dumb 
with grief at beholding my much loved, indulgent and 
honoured parent in such a lamentable state, and at my 
having instead of being as I ought to have been a comforter, 
and a soother of his calamity, been an additional thorn in 
his side, an aggravator of his misery. Upon entering the 
chamber he was in, I burst into a passion of tears, bordering 
upon convulsion. The source of my father's was dried up, 
quite exhausted he uttered not a syllable, but looked so 



HIS FATHER'S DESPAIR 115 

agonized that my uncle, who was present, alarmed for 
his life eagerly and instantly taking hold of my arm led 
me out of the room. For ten days I saw no more of my 
father. At the end of that time I was again summoned to his 
room, he being still at Colehern. I found him composed, 
but looking dreadfully ill, thin and pale. He languidly said : 
William, I lament that you should once more have 
deceived and disappointed me.' 5 Then pausing and cover- 
ing his face with both hands for some moments, he con- 
tinued : " But I have observed that plans fondly laid by 
parents for their children very early in life, are seldom or 
never made effectual. It has pleased an all wise providence to 
heap upon me accumulated afflictions, but God's will be done, 
it is as much my duty as my inclination humbly to bow to 
these visitations. As I find you cannot settle yourself 
to any thing in your native land, we must try another 
line and another country for you, and may the Almighty 
in his unbounded goodness vouchsafe to turn your heart. 
I still believe, notwithstanding all that has passed, that 
your wish is to do right, and that you are not void of sensi- 
bility and generosity, but resolution, or control over your 
passions you have none. Through life, young as you are, 
you have hitherto suffered them heedlessly to run away 
with you, even without a struggle. 55 After another pause he 
added : " Since I saw you last I have procured for you the 
situation of a cadet in the East India Company's service, 
and God grant you may do better in future than you have 
hitherto. And now leave me, I feel too weak and exhausted 
to say more. 95 

On my way back to London I reflected very seriously 
upon recent events, and the important change about to 
take place respecting myself, but as novelty is everything 
to a youthful mind, more cheerful ideas soon predominatedj 
and I looked forward with something like pleasure. 

In the middle of September, several friends having 
recommended my father to go to some place at a distance, 
in order to try to get rid of a nervous affection that preyed 
upon his spirits, he resolved to visit Bath and to take me 



116 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

with. him. In three days after we accordingly set off in my 
father's post chaise, attended by one man servant. After 
remaining one week at Bath, we went to Bristol, and from 
thence crossed the water into Wales, which we traversed 
until we reached Flint, at which town resided Mr. Chetwood 
and family, consisting of a wife, and three grown up, 
fine young women daughters, Ann, Hessy, and Elizabeth, 
with all of whom I was acquainted, they having spent 
some time with us at Twickenham. These were the girls 
that caused the sudden dispersion of my mouthful of peas 
already mentioned. 

During our sojourn with this worthy family, my father's 
health and spirits materially improved. He would not, 
however, stay any longer, being anxious to get to Lon- 
don in order to prepare for my departure to the East. 
On the 6th of October therefore we took leave of the 
Chetwoods, and on the 9th arrived in St. Albans Street. 
During this excursion my father often, although with 
great moderation and temper, touched upon my follies 
and irregularities, earnestly beseeching me to learn to 
check my passions, and not, as thentofore had been the 
case, to yield to every temptation that presented itself. 
He particularly dwelt upon the necessity of my doing so 
as I was now going into the world my own master, with no 
parent's watchful attention to check or advise, that my 
first and principal object must be scrupulously and 
cautiously to avoid gaming and gamesters, which other- 
wise would prove my bane and ruin. I then assured him, 
as the fact was, that I had never in my life lost a guinea 
at any one time, never touched cards or dice, and although 
I had certainly played much at tennis and at billiards, 
I had done so solely for amusement and at the expense 
only of the court or tables with the exception of losing 
a few sixpences to the people I played with at billiards, 
as I have before mentioned. 

It was evident that my father doubted my asseveration, 
for he observed, if the fact had been so it was utterly im- 
possible I could have got rid of the large sums of money I 



PREPARATIONS AS A CADET 117 

had squandered within the last two years, and notwith- 
standing my continued assurances that such was the case v 
he still doubted my word, giving me a serious lecture upon 
the very ungentlemanlike and disgraceful practice of swerv- 
ing from the truth upon any occasion. He further said 
that the company I had kept was a flat and positive proof 
that I disguised the truth. The fair presumption being so 
much against me, I ceased to attempt any further defence, 
but assured my father he need be under no fears about 
my gambling in future. He then gave me permission to 
get what clothes I pleased made up, that he would accom- 
pany me into the City to learn what things were proper and 
necessary for me, and that with all such I should be 
supplied. 

A few days after our return to town my father took 
me to visit Sir George Colebrooke, the director who had 
nominated me a cadet. The Baronet received us with 
great politeness, telling my father it afforded him pleasure 
to have had it in his power to comply with his request. 
He said he had appointed me for Madras in preference 
to Bengal, which was by many considered the most ad- 
vantageous for a military man, because the coast of 
Coromandel was then the seat of an active war with 
Hyder Ali, and consequently more likely to give promotion 
to a young soldier, and that instead of remaining a cadet 
two, three, or four years, as would probably happen to 
those who went the ensuing season to Bengal, I should 
obtain a commission in the Madras army upon landing. 

From Sir George Colebrooke's, we went to Mr. Laurence 
Sullivan's, then a man of great influence and a leading 
Director. He likewise was very kind, and promised to 
give letters that would be of essential service to me. 
He recommended my father to lose no time in securing 
a passage for me, as the ships would all be much crowded. 
From Mr. Sullivan's we went to the India house, where 
I was introduced to Mr. Coggan, one of the Company's 
principal officers, who being then very busy desired I 
would call the following morning and he would put me 



118 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

in the way of doing what was requisite. I accordingly 
did so, when he gave me a printed list of necessaries 
for a writer, observing that most of the articles therein 
specified would be equally useful to a military man, 
only I must recollect in addition to take a few yards of 
scarlet, blue, green, and yellow cloths, in order to make 
up regimentals according to the corps to which I should be 
attached, the Infantry wearing scarlet, but with different 
facings of blue, yellow, or Green, the Artillery like his 
Majesty's, blue with scarlet facings, and the Engineers 
scarlet faced with black velvet. He advised me to try for 
a passage to Madras in the Plassey, and gave me a letter 
of introduction to Captain Waddell, who commanded her 
and who was a particular friend of his. This letter I de- 
livered the same day to Captain Waddell at his house 
in Golden Square. He received me with much civility, 
saying that although he had determined not to take any 
more passengers than he had already got, he could not 
refuse his friend Mr. Coggan, and room must therefore 
be made for me. He told me he expected to sail early 
in December, and that I, as well as every body else, must 
be on board prior to the ship's leaving Gravesend. I next 
ascertained what was to be paid, and found it to be fifty 
guineas for a seat at the Captain's table. I then went 
to my father's tailor, Anthony Marcelis, of Suffolk Street, 
Charing Cross, to order regimentals, but not knowing to 
what corps I should be appointed, I conceived the best 
thing I could do would be to have a suit of each description, 
which I directed accordingly. Upon my way from Marcelis 
I met in the street a dashing fellow in a scarlet frock, 
with black waistcoat, breeches, and stockings, which in 
my eyes appeared remarkably smart. I therefore returned 
instantly to 'the tailor to bespeak a similar dress, as I 
was then in mourning for my mother. Marcelis suggested 
an improvement, which was to have the coat lined with 
black silk, and black buttons and button holes, which not 
only looked better than the plain red, but was more ap- 
propriate as military mourning. 



INITIATED AS A "BUCK" 119 

Mr. Walter Taylor, a very old Mend of my father's, 
presented me with a beautiful cnt and thrust steel sword, 
desiring me to cut off half a dozen rich fellow's heads with 
it, and so return a Nabob myself to England. In three 
days after I received this sword, my clothes being sent 
home, I burst forth a martial buck of the first stamp, 
and not a little vain was I of the figure I made. I seldom 
appeared two successive days in the same dress ; my inti- 
mates beheld me with astonishment, observing I was going 
abroad in a splendid style. Some of my brother Joseph's 
acquaintances enquired what the devil regiment I had 
got into, for that they met me in half a dozen different 
uniforms in as many days. I was now a gentleman at 
large, thinking myself at perfect liberty to make the most 
of the short time I had to remain in London. 

About this period my brother Henry proposed intro- 
ducing me to a society he said he was sure I should 
like, and in the evening took me to the Globe tavern 
in Craven Street when I was directly initiated as a 
Buck, and as Henry had predicted, was much pleased, 
all being laugh and pleasantry. I found a set of young 
men accoutred in splendid ornaments, arranged in great 
form, one who presided being elevated about three feet 
above the rest. In about an- hour after my admission 
all the business of the meeting being finished, the Lodge was 
closed, when every person did as he pleased. Some ordered 
supper in detached parties of from three to six, others 
only drank wine, or punch, as fancy led. The eating being 
over, the best singing I ever heard commenced. There 
I first had the pleasure to hear Dodd, the player, sing his 
famous song of "Cease rude Boreas," and a charming 
performance he made it. He was followed by Hook, 
Champnes, Banister, Dibdin, and many other celebrated 
voices, who were all Members of the Lodge, which was 
distinguished by the name of " The Euphrates." There 
I spent a night of infinite gratification. 

Shortly after my admission, John Wilkes, then a prisoner 
in the King's Bench, was proposed as an honorary Brother, 



120 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

which being unanimously agreed to, a deputation was 
nominated, of which they did me the honour to make me 
one, to communicate the same to him, to pass through the 
customary ceremonials and invest him with the Insignia of 
the Order. Haying given him due notice, we two days 
after waited upon him at his apartments in the King's 
Bench prison, where he received us most graciously, ex- 
pressed himself highly honoured and flattered by the 
attention of so ancient and respectable a society as the 
Bucks, upon which he bestowed an elegant encomium. 
Of his speech he, upon our special request, gave a copy 
in writing, which we begged his permission to have inserted 
in the registry of the Lodge, which was done accordingly. 
There were many other Lodges in London, all of which 
occasionally visited each other in all their state. In No- 
vember the Lodge called " The Macedonian " gave a very 
splendid entertainment at the London tavern to upwards 
of six hundred ladies and gentlemen, at which I was present. 

In the midst of dissipation my poor mother's recent 
death was, I am ashamed to say, almost forgotten, yet 
in my minutes of reflection which would sometimes occur, 
I upbraided myself for thus soon nearly forgetting a fond 
and affectionate parent, as she had ever proved to me. 

The first time I appeared in my scarlet and black, I 
committed a sad solecism in dress by wearing my military 
sword. Of this error I was unconscious until told of it 
by a young man who perfectly understood the etiquette 
of dress, and he said I was very wrong, that the sword 
should be black, with a sword loveknot of black. Of course 
I lost no time in equipping myself " comme il faut." My 
father made no complaint of my having such a variety 
of clothes, but much as to the cat of them. Making double 
breasted coats for such a climate as the East Indies he 
pronounced preposterous and absurd, yet in this he was 
mistaken. Officers in India dress precisely the same (in 
point of coat at least) as in Europe, and although certainly 
absurd in such extreme heat, actually button the lapel 
close up to the throat, 



VISITS THE PLASSEY 121 

My attached Fanny Hartford was much pleased with 
my appearance en militaire, but grieved at thinking she 
was so soon to lose me. As she, like myself, had never seen 
the inside of a ship, I early in November proposed taking 
her to Gravesend, where the Plassey then lay taking in 
cargo. To this she consented, and we went down, and 
were received with the utmost attention by the commanding 
officer, Mr. Peter Douglas, the third mate, who conducted 
us through every part of the ship, explaining the uses of 
the different articles. He made a thousand apologies for 
the dirty state of the ship, which he said was unavoidable 
whilst receiving the cargo, but that if he had previously 
known we were coming things should have been in some- 
what less disorder, and he would have prepared refresh- 
ments, whereas he now had nothing better to offer than a 
beef steak. We thanked him for his politeness, observing 
we had ordered dinner at the Inn, and should be happy 
if he would favour us with his company, which he promised 
he would. 

The ship certainly was in a sad dirty plight, but Mr. 
Douglas's cabin was an exception to the general filth, 
being neatness itself, and most elegantly fitted up. It 
was painted of a light pea green, with gold beading, 
the bed and curtains of the richest Madras chintz, one 
of the most complete dressing tables I ever saw, having 
every useful article in it ; a beautiful bureau and book 
case, stored with the best books, and three neat mahogany 
chairs, formed the furniture. In all my subsequent voyages 
I never saw so handsome an apartment in a ship. He said 
if we would wait until he changed his dress, he would 
attend us on shore. This we willingly agreed to, and found 
abundant entertainment in looking about the Bound house, 
where every thing was quite new to us. 

At three in the afternoon we landed, and set down in half 
an hour afterwards to as good a dinner as the cook of the 
Falcon Inn could furnish. We luckily found the champagne 
very passable, and gave our guest as much as he chose of 
it. He stayed with us till past midnight, when he returned 



122 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

on board the Plasszy, promising to spend the following 
day with us. Upon taking leave of me that night he ex- 
pressed himself as being delighted with the beauty and 
the elegant manners of Hartford, and often since has 
declared to me that the two days he passed with her and 
me were amongst the pleasantest of his life. He was in 
our sitting room at the Falcon when I went down before 
9 o'clock next morning, and whilst we were at breakfast, 
observing it was a charming day, he proposed by way of 
filling up the morning, to order a chaise and go to Chatham, 
where as he had a relation in the Dockyard he could procure 
for us a sight of every thing worthy inspection, and as we 
had been pleased by seeing a dirty East Indiaman in her 
very worst state, he was sure the view of a first rate, in 
the best order, would afford us high gratification. Fanny 
liking the excursion, desired I would order the carriage, 
and at, half past ten, Douglas was agreeably surprised by 
getting into a very stylish post chaise (Fanny's own) with 
four post horses, being attended by her coachman, and 
man servant (the latter an inveterate coxcomb) on horse 
back. We proceeded to Chatham, and enquiring for 
Douglas's friend, who was the Master builder, our chaise 
was instantly admitted within the gates, and the gentle- 
man, whose name I do not recollect, being summoned, 
immediately came and conducted us to his house, a spacious 
and handsome building, where, ordering chocolate and 
other refreshments, whilst they were preparing he gave 
directions for different persons to be called, ordering them 
to open the different warehouses and store houses. He- 
then took us into every one of them, shewing us cordage, 
sails, masts, yards, and a variety of articles appertaining 
to ships of war, to the amount in value of near a million of 
money. He then conducted us to a Ninety Gun ship 
that had just been repaired and refitted, the magnitude 
of which astonished us ; he next shewed us every part of 
a Seventy Four that was upon the stocks building, and 
explained the nature of the ways or slips by which she was 
to be launched. 



AT CHATHAM DOCKYARD 123 

Having spent upwards of five hours in the most agree- 
able manner surveying a thousand objects as novel as 
they were interesting to us, we returned to the house 
intending directly to get into the chaise, and proceed to 
Gravesend, where I had ordered dinner, but our liberal 
host would not hear of a departure, saying, without his 
orders, no carriage would be suffered to draw up, for he 
was lord paramount, in which capacity he commanded 
us to stay and partake of his dinner, which would be 
served in a few minutes. His manner was so hospitable, so 
polite and engaging, that neither of the party had the least 
wish to decline his proffered civility, and at five we sat 
down to a table sumptuously covered, being joined by a 
Captain of a man of war, and a fine youth of about eighteen, 
the builder's son. A desert and excellent wines followed, 
nor would he allow us to move until near eleven at night, 
when we got into our carriage and returned to Gravesend, 
very much pleased with our day's entertainment. Mr. 
Douglas, who as commanding officer, was bound to sleep 
on board his ship, then took his leave and went off. The 
following morning, after breakfast, Fanny and I went back 
to London* 



CHAPTER XI 

TO THE EAST AS A CADET 

rnOWARDS the end of the month (November) by desire 
JL of Mr. Coggan, I attended before a Committee of 
Directors to undergo the usual examination as a cadet. 
Being called into the Committee room after a waiting of 
near two hours in the lobby, at which my pride was 
greatly oSended, I saw three old Dons sitting close to the 
fire, having by them a large table, with pens, ink, paper, 
and a number of books lying upon it. Having surveyed 
me, as I conceived, rather contemptuously, one of them 
in such a snivelling strange tone that I could scarcely 
understand him, said : 

" Well, young gentleman, what is your age ? " 

Having answered "Nineteen," he continued : 

" Have you ever served, I mean been in the army ? 
Though I presume from your age and appearance you 
cannot." 

I replied, " I had not. 55 

" Can you go through the manual exercise ? " 

" No, sir. 55 

" Then you must take care and learn it," 

I bowed. 

" You know the terms upon which you enter our service? " 

"Yes, Sir. 53 

" Are you satisfied therewith ? " 

"Yes, Sir. 55 

A Clerk who was writing at the table then told me 1 
might withdraw, whereupon I made my conge and retired. 
From the Committee room I went to Mr. Coggan's office, 
who after making me sit down for near an hour, presented 
me with my appointment as a cadet, also an order for me 
to be received and accommodated with a passage to Madras 

124 



A PARTY FOR UNFORTUNATES 125 

on board the Plassey. But another document, wholly 
unexpected on my part, pleased me much more than 
either of the others. This was a check upon the paymaster 
for twenty guineas. Mr. Coggan, seeing my surprize, 
and that I did not know the meaning of this draft, ob- 
served that as it did not fall to the lot of every lad that 
went to India as a cadet to have friends that could fit him 
out for the voyage, the Company always supplied them 
with twenty guineas to purchase bedding and other neces- 
saries. As these articles were already provided, I thought 
I could not dispose of the Honourable Company's donation 
better than in the society of a few unfortunate females. 
I therefore called upon one called Brent, and told her I was 
desirous of getting half a dozen poor girls together, and 
giving them a good meal, with their skins full of wine, 
at the Shakespear the next day, asking her if she was 
acquainted with any damsels to whom a dinner would be 
acceptable. 

" Oh, that I am," replied she, " with many who I am 
afraid fast from not having the means of purchasing food/' 
and she undertook to collect the party and order the dinner 
in my name. At four o'clock the following day I marched 
to the Shakespear, expecting to be the only male of the 
party, when lo, I was ushered into a room where I found 
my brother Henry, Tethrington, Major Nugent, Gilly 
Mahon, and others, with a parcel of women, several of 
whom I did not know. Upon my entrance there was a 
shout, the men calling me " A Grand Turk," that I wanted a 
Seraglio to myself, and much wit at my expense was sported. 
The women however defended me and my good-natured 
plan for the benefit of the distressed Sisterhood. I now 
learnt that Brent had betrayed me by communicating my 
intention to her male friends. They relished my scheme 
exceedingly and resolved to carry it into effect upon a 
more enlarged scale, and not at my sole charge. Dinner 
being announced, I was, much against my inclination, 
voted into the Chair, and Pris Vincent became my Vice, 
and a more competent one to the situation never sat at a 



126 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM MICKEY 

table. Indeed, we both did justice to our stations ; nought 
but harmony and good humour prevailed. 

We sat to a late hour, but as I wished to avoid making a 
Dutch feast of it, I acted with caution and kept tolerably 
sober. I felt that the expense must far exceed the strength 
of my purse, and not then being in the secret as to the 
determination of my male friends, I slipped out of the room 
to tell Tomkins I had not cash enough to pay his bill, but if 
he would let me know the amount, the next day I would 
discharge it. Whereupon he desired me not to give myself 
any trouble on that account, for that he had cash in his 
hands more than adequate to the payment of his bill, 
even were the company to continue drinking for four and 
twenty hours longer. He said he was glad to see me in so 
different a party to that I had last been there with, alluding 
to Williams's. 

Rejoining the company, I observed to them that as I 
had been forestalled in my object, I must at least apply 
a part of my little fund for the relief of some unfortunate 
female. Tomkins being summoned was asked whether he 
knew of any one in distress, to which he answered he 
had that very day received a letter from Lucy, Cooper, 
who had long been a prisoner for debt in the Bong's Bench, 
stating that she was almost naked and starving, without 
a penny in her pocket to purchase food, raiment, or a coal 
to warm herself. I instantly put down ten guineas, 
and the gentlemen present also subscribing liberally, 
fifty pounds were raised. This sum was put into Tomkins's 
hands to forward to her. I had afterwards the satisfaction 
of hearing that this seasonable aid had probably saved the 
life of a deserving woman, who, in her prosperity, had done 
a thousand generous actions. 

At a late hour our party separated, Tethrington and 
his set being engaged to a hazard table. I therefore 
strolled to my old haunt, Wetherby's, where I had not 
been since my lamentable Brag scene. Upon my en- 
trance the whole room attacked me, expressing their sur- 
prize at that night's exhibition, enquiring what I had 



WHAT HAPPENED AT WETHEKBTS 127 

done to myself, for that I was absolutely mad, and not 
one of my favourites had the least influence over me ; 
that they were all astonishment at seeing me who had 
always been perfectly good humoured in my cups, so 
entirely the reverse, and actually quite savage. Of course 
I had nothing to say in my defence, not having the least 
recollection of any one circumstance that passed, nor even 
that I had been in the house, but it has often struck me 
as very extraordinary that I, who was remarkable for my 
jocularity and good temper when drunk, should that night 
alone have been in the other extreme, and I have therefore 
been induced firmly to believe that the infamous scoundrels 
who plundered me of my money had also introduced some 
poisonous drug or ingredient into the liquor I drank, that 
caused a temporary insanity. 

My brother Joseph wishing to see the ship I was to go in, 
we took a post chaise and ran down to Gravesend. When 
at the foot of Shooter's hill, my brother by the shadow upon 
the ground, saw some person had mounted behind, which 
from the hill being very steep, he did not approve of. He 
therefore leaned out of the window, desiring a stout, 
ferocious looking fellow that was seated there to get down. 
The man, instead of doing so, with a volley of oaths 
threatened my brother, saying, " If you don't keep your 
head in, I'll cut your eye out." My brother's indigna- 
tion being raised, he hastily called to the post-boy to 
open the door and let him out, intending to thrash the 
fellow for his insolence, as he (my brother) piqued himself 
upon his skill in pugilism. The man, notwithstanding his 
bulk and apparent strength, directly leaped down, at the 
same time hailing some of his companions who were a little 
way astern, with, " I say, messmates heave a head. 
Damn my eyes if here is not a lousy, land lubber who wants 
to bring us to action." My brother, although very 
angry, did not think it prudent to encounter half a dozen. 
He however expressed an earnest desire to discover who 
the fellow was that he might cause him to be punished for 
his insolence. In vain I argued that Jack (for he was evidently 



128 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

a seaman) had done nothing but what was natural, and 
should be laughed at. 

We proceeded on our journey hearing no snore of the 
men in our rear. As it was too late to go off to the 
ship that afternoon, we went on board the next morning, 
when the very first man I saw upon deck was our 
Shooter's hill friend, but who I was rejoiced to find my 
brother did not recognize. I found he was one of the 
Quarter masters. He was afterwards of great use to mo 
upon various occasions, slinging my cot, and doing any job 
I wanted effected. I invariably found him to be a quiet, 
civil, and obliging fellow. After we had been some weeks 
at sea, I one day asked him if he recollected getting tip 
behind a post chaise on Shooter's hill. " Oh, yes," said he, 
" that I do, and that an ill-natured devil, in the inside 
would not let me ride a bit.' 5 

My father was now mostly at Richmond, at the house 
of Mr. Grose, a friend of his, as since my mother's death he 
could not bear Twickenham, and soon after I left England 
he sold it to a Mr. Haldane. 

In the beginning of December, a set of noblemen and 
gentlemen of the Savoir vivre club proposed giving an 
entertainment to His Danish Majesty, and suite, and a 
Masquerade was determined on as likely to afford the greatest 
novelty. The Opera house being engaged upon the occasion, 
was magnificently fitted up. My father having procured 
tickets, gave me one, and my sister Mary supplied me with 
a domino, and other requisites. At ten at night my brother 
Joseph and I got into Sedan chairs and were convoyed to 
the Opera house, where we found an immense company 
already assembled. The coup d'wil upon the first entrance 
was the grandest and most sublime thing I had ever beheld. 
This being the only masquerade that had taken place 
for many years, every body was anxious to see it, and even 
fifty guineas was offered by advertisement in the public 
papers for a ticket. In a few minutes after us, the King 
of Denmark and his party entered the theatre. He had 
nothing dignified or majestic in his figure, but seemed 



MASQUERADE AT THE OPERA HOUSE 129 

affable and good humoured. The crowd being very great, 
it became difficult to move. His Majesty however bustled 
about, getting on by dint of elbowing. I had during the 
night more than once the superlative honour of being 
jostled and having my toes trod upon by a Crowned head, 
His Royal elbows not appearing to me a bit less pointed 
or rough in their application to my sides than would have 
been those of the vilest plebeian. The Buffets, which 
were numerous, were abundantly supplied with refresh- 
ments of every kind, amongst them ices, and the choicest 
fruits. At one o'clock the doors of the supper rooms 
were thrown open, the tables of which were fancifully 
decorated with emblematical figures complimentary to 
the Royal Guest, and the whole supper was worthy of 
the noble donors. 

A little before the hour of supper, finding the heat 
very oppressive, and seeing several persons had unmasked, 
I did the same, soon after which I was laid hold of 
by a Minerva, whom I at once discovered to be Fanny 
Hartford. She had by the arm a gentleman in a rich 
old English dress, to whom she immediately said, " This 
is a young friend of mine that I must take care of." 
The gentleman looking at me answered, " By all means." 
She then whispered me that her companion was the Duke 
of Grafton, one of the principal managers .and conductors of 
the entertainment, and she desired me to stick close to 
her. This I did, and was led into a private passage which 
went to an apartment at the head of about a dozen steps, 
in which was a table set out for the Duke's friends, and 
from the front of which we had an admirable view of the 
table at which the King was seated. His Majesty eat as 
if he was hungry, looked with much complacency around, 
and seemed highly gratified with the whole scene. After 
supper dancing was resumed. 

Between three and four o'clock some of the indefatigable 
votaries to Bacchus, who had sacrificed too freely at the jolly 
God's shrine, became very noisy and troublesome. Bottles 
and glasses flew about in various directions, and some of the 



130 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

most turbulent heroes came to fist) 5 " cuffs. At four, the King 
departed, and the house began to thin. I continued till 
near eight in the morning when I went home much pleased 
with all I had seen. Going to my bed I slept soundly for 
five hours, when I rose, dressed and drove in a hackney 
coach to Hartford's, with whom I dined, and at night 
accompanied her to Covent Garden play house. The 
following morning she took me in her carriage to the 
India house, and Jerusalem Coffee house. At the latter 
I met Captain Waddell, who told me he had just taken 
leave of the Court of Directors, and that I ought to send, 
my chest down to the ship as soon as possible, and be on 
board myself by that day week. Upon my return homo 
therefore I had my clothes all packed, and two days after 
despatched the same, together with a case of foreign 
liqueurs which I had bought at an Italian warehouse in 
the Haymarket at the price of sixteen guineas, by a Grave- 
send boy down to the Plassey. I then wroto to inform my 
father what Captain Waddell had said, in consequence of 
which he came to town, and we again visited Mr. Sullivan, 
who gave me letters to his Asiatic friends, as did Colonel 
Maclean, Sir Charles Sheffield, Admirals Sir Samuel Cornish 
and Sir George Pocock, also the Burke family, and others 
of my father's acquaintances. 

I now heard, and with much pleasure, that a young 
London friend, Richard Bourchier, a nephew of the Gover- 
nor of Madras, was going out a Cadet on board the Plassvy, 
a circumstance we were mutually glad of. He \va a am art 
fellow, about a year older than myself, and like me had 
been somewhat profuse and dissipated, which made his 
family think it prudent to send him out of England, for 
a short time at least, in order to get quit of a set of dissolute 
companions to whom he had attached himself. He had 
been educated in the Surgical line, and was a pupil of the 
famous Gataker. Bourchier and I agreed to depart for 
Graveaend on the 1 8th. Having therefore only four days 
left, my time was fully occupied in bidding adieus to friends 
of all description, male and female. My parting with 



TAKES LEAVE OF HIS FRIENDS 131 

Fanny Hartford was a distressing scene and caused many 
tears from each of us. She presented me with an elegant 
tooth pick case, having an admirable miniature likeness 
of her on the inside of the lid, as a keep-sake. 

On the 17th in the morning, I went to take leave of my 
Uncle Boulton at Coleherne, and of his family. I certainly 
expected a present of at least fifty guineas, as he was 
very rich, and in all probability would never see me more. 
He was liberal enough in his advice. After touching pretty 
forcibly upon the evil courses I had long pursued, and the 
consequent distress of mind to my father, he reminded 
me that as I was now going into the world it behoved 
me to act very differently to what I had done, and constantly 
to bear in recollection what an indulgent father I had 
and how handsomely and expensively he had equipped 
me. He ended his lecture by putting into my hand five 
guineas ! which I felt a great inclination to return to him, 
but curbing my indignation, I coolly turned from him, 
saluted my aunt and cousins, and left the house. In 
passing the outer gate, which a man servant opened for 
me, I put the five guineas into his hand, saying I was sure 
my uncle had intended that amount for him. The man 
looked surprized, but bowed low, wishing me health and 
happiness. Upon my return home I fairly related to my 
father all that had passed, and how I had disposed of the 
paltry present, of which he highly approved, calling my 
said uncle a mean and contemptible scoundrel. 

That day, being our last in London, Dick Bourchier 
and I agreed to dine together. He collected three other 
jovial bucks and had a pleasant party at the Shakespear. 
At night we went the rounds of Covent Garden and Drury 
Lane, and did not retire to our beds until after daylight 
the following morning. Bourchier came to breakfast in 
St. Albans Street, a post chaise having previously been 
ordered to bo at the door by noon to convey us to Dart- 
ford on our way to the ship. Breakfast being over, my 
father took mo into his study, where after fervently re- 
commending me to the care of a protecting providence, 



132 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

be gave me a beautiful Fusee, which cost him forty guineas, 
a pair of pistols of exquisite workmanship, and a purse 
containing fifty guineas in cash and a twenty five pounds 
Bank note. 

About half past twelve we took our seats in the chaise, 
both sadly dejected at thus leaving all that was dear 
behind us, and in all likelihood taking a last adieu of 
our native City. For the first ten miles we exchanged 
not a word, each being deeply wrapt in thought, but by 
the time we reached Dartford, where we changed horses, 
we became more reconciled to our fate, and began to con- 
verse a little. Between four and five we arrived at Graves- 
end, and drove to the Falcon, which, being crowded with 
guests, they crammed us into a miserable little hole of 
a room so enveloped in smoke we could scarce see the 
candles they placed upon a table. In a couple of hours 
they brought an abominable ill dressed dinner. In short 
every thing was so disgustingly bad that I proposed to 
Bourchier going back to Dartford to sleep, which a waiter 
hearing, who had recognized me from having been there 
twice before, he very civilly said the house had been un- 
usually full all day, but that a party would in a few minutes 
leave one of the best rooms which, although already promised, 
he would secure for us. He kept his word, soon shewing 
us into the room Fanny and I had occupied, where, putting 
wax candles upon the table, and bringing a magnum bonum 
of very palatable claret which I ordered, we became re- 
conciled to the house. Having finished our wine, we went 
to the public billiard table, where we found a motley 
collection of people. After looking at the players for an 
hour, we returned to our Inn, eat a few oysters, and went 
to bed. The next day being the 19th, we hired a boat 
and went on board the Plassey to ascertain where our cots 
were to be hung. We found Captain Waddell in the Cuddy, 
who said the ship would not move for a couple of days. 
He pressed us to stay dinner, which we declined having 
ordered one on shore. Mr. Douglas was very attentive and 
shewed us our berth, which was spacious and airy, being two 



THE SHIP'S COMPANY 183 

thirds of the great cabin. He however told us that another 
young gentleman, named Chapman, who was going out as a 
cadet, would have his cot also in the same place, to which 
no possible objection could be made, there being abundant 
room. The ship was in so lumbered a state we could 
scarcely crawl into the great cabin, and the quarter deck 
was covered with packages, but all these Douglas assured 
me would be cleared away prior to leaving Gravesond. 

On the 20th Mr. Jacob Rider came down, and introduced 
himself upon hearing we were going out in the Plassey, 
which ship he su-id he should likewise embark on, returning 
to Bengal as a Factor. He dined with us, and we were 
much pleased with his manners. In the evening he ordered 
a chaise? and four to convey him the first stage towards 
London, at which I observed we were to sail the following, 
or at farthest, the second day, as Captain Waddell had in- 
formed me. Mr. Rider replied that he was to have charge 
of the Company's final dispatches, and should travel by 
land with them to Deal, from which place he should go on 
board. 

The next day Captain Waddcll sent to desire we would 
come oiT, as the pilot intended to break ground at high 
water. We accordingly took, as J thought it would be, 
our last leave of British ground and proceeded to the ship, 
where we found an excellent dinner just set upon the table, 
clean, neat, and looking remarkably well cooked, and we 
were agreeably surprized by being told we should have as 
good a dinner as we then saw before us every day during 
our voyage, which certainly was the case. Our party 
in the Cuddy then consisted of Captain Waddoll, Samuel 
Rogers, chief officer, Charles Chisholme, second, Peter 
Douglas third, Walter (Jowdie, Surgeon, Richard Jones, 
Purser, James Grunt, a writer for Bengal, Mr. Forbes, 
an Assistant Surgeon for the same place ; Mr. Demi Court, 
also a Surgeon, .... Chapman, a cadet for Madras, Dick 
Bourchier and myself. The fourth mate's name waa 
Williams, the fifth, Thompson, and the sixth, Lane. At 
the mates' mess there was a Madras Cadet, named Ross, 



134 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

a man at least forty years of age, who bad been a Captain 
in the King's service, but reduced to such distress as to be 
obliged to sell his Commission and accept a Cadetship 
in the Company's service. With the Midshipmen there 
messed another Cadet, a tall, raw boned, lank Scotch lad 
of seventeen, named Smith, and these, with Mr. Rider, 
were the whole of the passengers. In the afternoon we un- 
moored, but a fresh Easterly wind blowing, we only kedged 
down to the bottom of Gravesend reach. The 22nd the 
wind continuing in the East we made little progress, the 
23rd we got below the Nore, when the ship beginning to 
pitch, I became desperately sick, could neither eat, drink, 
nor sleep, and continued in that horrid state, expecting every 
hour would be my last, until the 25th (Christmas Day) 
when Mr. Douglas came into the cabin to tell me we were 
at an anchor in Margate roads, it blowing strong from the 
Eastward, which, as long as it continued, would keep us 
there ; that there was a boat coming off by which, if I 
chose it, I might go on shore, and proceed to Deal by land. 
The instant I heard this I jumped out of my cot, ill as I 
was, dressed myself and went upon deck. 

This was the first view I had ever had of a boisterous 
ocean, and dreadful did it appear. The ship was in 
violent motion, and a large Margate boat that had just 
come alongside, was by the swell thrown up level with 
the gunwale and the next moment sunk into the abyss 
below. It was horrible to behold. The boatmen asking 
if any one wanted to go on shore, I eagerly answered, 
les, I did very much." Whereupon Captain Waddell 
who was upon deck, advised me to stay where I was 
and getting the sea sickness over, which it probably would 
be in another day, whereas if I landed it would be re- 
newed when I again came on board. I was however so 
wretchedly ill that I resolved to land, although I knew not 
how I should possibly contrive to get into the boat from 
the high sea that was running. Bourchier and Grant 
who were nearly as bad as myself, also agreed to go on 
shore, so getting a few shirts, &c., in a trunk, we by 



CHRISTMAS DINNER AT MARGATE 185 

the kind assistance of the officers and sailors, managed to 
goat ourselves in the boat where I had not been a minute 
ere the mc.kneas entirely left me, notwithstanding the quick 
and violent motion. Not so my companions, wifh whom 
the evil increased. 

leaving the Pla&scy, we darted on at a prodigious rate, 
and in about an hour stepped ashore within the Pier, and 
in live minutes were placed by a clear fire in a comfort- 
able room at the Inn then kept by Michinor. Here we 
oat our Christmas dinner, took a moderate share of port, 
and at an early hour went to our beds, in order to make 
up for two sleepless nights we had passed on board. In 
the morning we found that the wind had veered round 
to the N.W. and the ships were weighing their anchors 
to go round the North Foreland into the Downs. Having 
breakfasted, wo ordered a post chaise in which we drove 
to the Three Kings at Deal, The Plassey came to in the 
Downs in the afternoon, immediately after which it began 
to blow strong from the Westward. We amused ourselves 
running about the country to different places. 

On the 28th Bourchier proposed our accompanying him 
to Dover to visit a relation of his, Captain Pritty, who com- 
manded one of the Government packets that sailed between 
Calais and Dover. This gentleman's house we accordingly 
drove to ; he insisted upon our staying to dinner, entertain- 
ing us most hospitably. Upon our going away at night, he 
made us promise to eat our New Year's dinner with him, 
winch we were all three willing enough to do, provided we 
remained till then on shore. He then assured us we should 
have a westerly wind for a week longer, when the moon 
changed, and should the Fleet sail during our absence 
ho would himself put us on board in a cutter of his own. 

The 3 1st Mr. Eider came down with the Company's 
after packet, bringing with him a smart girl, and his 
brother, John Eider. In the morning of the 1st of January 
17 69, the latter gentleman came into the room in which 
we were sitting to ask if either of us was disposed to take 
a trip to France ; that there was a nice little smuggler just 



136 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

about to run over to Boulogne, the Master of which en- 
gaged to convey him over and bring him back to Deal 
within thirty hours. Finding no one disposed to join him, 
he went alone, whilst we got into a chaise to attend our 
engagement at Dover. The former visit had been unex- 
pected, yet we were well pleased with our reception and 
fare, but this time the entertainment was capital, an 
admirable dinner, and the best wines of all sorts. Captain 
Pritty had got some of his marine friends to join us, who 
proving jolly fellows, we had by nine o'clock swallowed 
a considerable quantity, and prudence whispered me it 
was time to think of moving, which I soon after proposed, 
whereupon, our host, who was tolerably drunk, called me, 
" a slip slop, moll dawdling boy. Damn me," continued he, 
cc if ever I saw such milk sop poor devils as ye are. What's 
got into the present race ! There is not an ounce of proper 
spirit about them. Gad so, when I was of your age, I'd 
as soon have hung myself as lost a week in that sink, 
Deal. No, Damn me, I'd have run up to Lunnun, and 
at least had a night on't, but you wishy washy soft 
masters fresh from mammy's apron strings have no nous. 
Damn me, there's nothing in ye, no, nothing in ye." He 
then called for a fresh batch of champagne, whilst drinking 
which I was considering what he had said, and thought the 
London trip a monstrous good idea, declaring myself ready 
to adopt it. Bourchier said the same, but Grant pro- 
fessed his fears, and that he dare not venture, which ex- 
cited Captain Pritty's wrath. Ringing the bell, I desired 
the servant to order a chaise and four for Canterbury, but 
to that one of the tars present objected with, " Avast 
heaving upon that rope, my tight one it is a cruel dark 
night, and you'll not be able to carry sail mount a couple 
of nags, take a pilot to run ahead and steer the proper 
course, and you'll be at Canterbury in no time." 

This morsel of eloquence receiving the approbation of 
our host, horses and a guide were ordered. At eleven we 
mounted, Captain Pritty desiring us to keep a good look 
out (though it was dark as pitch) and if the wind shifted 



THE RIDE TO CANTERBURY 13T 

to bear away for Ms port with all the sail we could crowd, 
and he'd ship us. With this caution oS we set as hard as 
we could pelt, leaving Grant to return to Deal alone. Our 
guide led the way in great style ; we got on famously, and 
with only one little stoppage occasioned by my poor Bozi- 
naute coming down heels over head,. Away I flew like 
a shot, my greatest danger arising from Bourchicr, who 
waw clone behind, riding over me as I lay extended in the 
mud. This fortunately did not happen, and my quiet 
boast Btanding stock still where he recovered his legs, I 
remounted without the slightest injury, the whole perform- 
ance not having occupied live minutes. 

We reached Canterbury at half past twelve, where, 
dismiKKing our Dover guide, we took a post chaise and four, 
and thus daahed on towards London, which we reached 
before nine in the morning, driving straight to Malby's, 
where we eat a hearty breakfast, the exercise having 
carried off the fumes of Captain Pritty's dose of wine. We 
then went to bod intending to sleep two or three hours, but 
as I found my mind too much employed to expect sleep 
I almost immediately arose, dispatching a porter for Brent, 
who was soon with me, all astonishment at my return. 
(Jetting into a hackney coach with her, after ordering 
dinner, I sallied forth, calling upon Tethrington, and two 
or three other friends, all of whom quite alarmed me by their 
grave remarks upon this ill judged journey, and the risk 
I ran of losing my passage. This deterred me from visiting 
Queen Ann Street, as I intended, for I knew how much 
Fanny would have blamed me, and I did not choose to 
make her uneasy. 

At two Brent and T returned to Malby's, Bourchier was 
out, but returned half an hour after us, and we three sat 
down to dinner. In the evening we went to one of the 
most retired upper boxes of Covent Garden Theatre, but 
the anxiety Bourchier and myself were under did away with 
every idea of pleasure, and before the play was over we left 
the, house, took some hot jellies and retired to bed, having 
previously ordered a chaise to be at the door precisely 



138 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

at eight in the morning. I had a wretched night, and not 
having had any sleep the night before, I became feverish, and 
Brent very uneasy about me. Towards morning I fell asleep, 
and she would not allow me to be disturbed when the chaise 
came until Bourchier, half crazy with alarm, at eleven 
waked me. I then rose much refreshed, and we got into 
the chaise a little before twelve. By paying the post 
boys well we went on rapidly to Sittingbourne, where we 
were detained near two hours for want of horses, so that 
it was past ten when we reached Canterbury, where we 
intended to sup, not having had any refreshment since 
we left London. Upon entering the Fountain Inn, I asked 
the landlord how the wind was, to which he answered, 
" I suspect from the clearness of the sky, Easterly." Where- 
upon Bourchier instantly cried out, " Zounds I then give 
us a chaise instantly for Dover." Our host then said, 
" I am not certain about the wind, but will ascertain it in 
two minutes, having a weather cock at the top of the 
house." He accordingly ascended, and soon came back 
with the comfortable tidings that there was very little 
wind, but what there was, Westerly. We therefore ordered 
supper, and after eating it went to bed. 



CHAPTER XII 

ON JBOAHI) THE PLAMBY 

THE moment day light appeared we proceeded to Deal, 
having a fine bright sunshine. When at the top of a 
hill about five miles from Deal, commanding a prospect of 
the Downs, we saw tho ships, as we supposed, under full sail, 
and dreadfully frightened thereat, directed the postilions 
to go to Dover instead of Deal, as tho ships were going away, 
when one of the boys conversant with maritime matters, said, 
u The fleet are fast at an anchor, and must remain so while 
the wind continues as it now is, 8outh west. They have 
only loosed their sails to dry after the rain of yesterday," 
This was very consolatory, and we went on our way to 
Deal. Arriving at the Three Kings we received the con- 
gratulations of Mr. Rider upon our return, for having heard 
from Grant that we wen? gone to London, he thought 
we must inevitably lose our passage. 

Upon entering the sitting room, the first object that met 
my eyes was Mr. John Rider, HO metamorphosed that until 
he spoke, 1 knew him not. Ho had returned from his 
.French excursion about an hour before we arrived. Instead 
of the plain brown cloth Bint we had last seen him in, with 
unpowdered hair and a single curl, wo now beheld a furiously 
powdered and pomatumed head with six curb on each side, 
a little skimming diwh of a hat, the brim not four inches 
deeptwo inches of it eovered with flilver lace and im- 
nimsely wide in front. His coat wan of a thiek silk, the 
colour sky blue, arid lined with crimson satin, the waistcoat 
atul breeches also of crimson satin, coat and waistcoat 
being bedizened with a tawdry spangle lace. The cut too 
was entirely different from any thing we had Been, having 
a remarkable long waist to the coat with scarce any skirts, 
lie was a little fat squab of a man, which made his appear- 

139 



140 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

ance the more extraordinary. Altogether, so grotesque a 
figure I never beheld, and we had a hearty laugh at him. 
This suit he assured us was the latest and veritable Parisian 
fashion ; he had it made up during the few hours he re- 
mained at Boulogne. The hat he purchased at Calais 
where they put in, and where his head was made a la regie. 
The hat was said to have been introduced by the Due de 
Nivernois, French Ambassador at the British Court, and 
was therefore distinguished by the name of " Chapeau 
Nivernois." I thought his habiliments preposterous and 
ugly, except the hat, which appeared becoming, and I gave 
that as my opinion, whereupon he (John Rider) told me 
the master of the vessel had purchased some of them upon 
speculation, and if I chose it he would purchase one for 
me. This I requested him to do, and I thus obtained a 
" Nivernois " even more outre than Rider's, and which 
was afterwards the cause of great mirth at Madras. Mr. 
Jacob Rider was quite delighted with the whole of the French 
dress, telling his brother that he must let him have it to 
make the people stare in Bengal, and he actually made John 
strip, and had the suit put into his own trunk, the height 
and form of the two brothers being exactly similar. 

We had passed a very merry day, and were just talking 
of going to bed when we heard a gun fired, and soon after 
several others from different ships in the Downs. A Deal 
man coming in told us the wind had suddenly gone to the 
North East, and the Fleet were getting under weigh. In- 
stead therefore of retiring to our comfortable beds, we were 
obliged to prepare for embarking. In a few minutes the 
house was all hurry and confusion paying bills, packing 
trunks, &c., &c. I had luckily a week before engaged 
with a boatman for one guinea to put me on board the 
Plassey whenever a signal for sailing was made, be the 
weather what it might, for which some of my shipmates 
laughed at me as being more than was necessary, a crown 
being the usual price. I now found that I had acted wisely, 
for as it was a bleak night, blowing smartly, with snow, 
the boat people would not receive a soul under three 



THE FLEET OF EAST INDIAMEN 141 

guineas each, and some even paid five. The man I had 
engaged with behaved honourably, coming to shew me to 
his boat, taking Bourchier with me. At half past one in the 
morning of the 4th of January 1769, we got into the Boat, 
and reached the Plassey in perfect safety. Giving the people 
three guineas for myself and Bourchier, they were well 
satisfied. I immediately got into my cot ; the sea being 
smooth and the wind right aft, I slept tolerably well till 
eight o'clock in the morning, when I awoke rather qualmish, 
but dressing and going upon deck, the sharp air re- 
covered me. 

I heard upon enquiry that we were below Dungeness, 
and that the East Indiamen in company were, the Pigot, 
Captain Richardson ; Triton, Honourable Captain Elphin- 
stone ; Hector, Captain Williams ; Nottingham, Captain 
Stokes ; Ashburnham, Captain Pearce ; Earl of Lincoln, 
Captain Hardwicke ; Hampshire, Captain Smith ; Crutten- 
den, Captain Baker ; Osterley, Captain Welch ; Speaker, 
Captain Todd ; Royal Charlotte, Captain Clements ; Glat- 
ton, Captain Doveton, and the SpeJce, Captain Jackson, 
besides a great number of vessels bound to the West Indies, 
America, and different parts of the world, the whole Fleet 
forming to me who had never before beheld any thing of 
the kind a grand and interesting spectacle. 

Being summoned to the Cuddy to breakfast, I had not 
been there five minutes when I turned deadly sick, was 
obliged to retire to my cot, from whence I scarcely stirred 
for ten days, during which I was in a very lamentable con- 
dition, straining so violently from having nothing in my 
stomach to throw up that I often thought I must, like my 
poor mother, die upon the ocean. Mr. Gowdie, the Surgeon, 
afterwards told me he for several days had been under 
serious alarm about me, considering me in imminent danger 
of bursting a blood vessel. 

We had tempestuous weather through the Bay of 
Biscay, with a prodigious sea, but the wind being fair, 
our progress was rapid, of which the officers frequently 
told me by way of comfort, but so ill was I that it 



142 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

was actually indifferent to me what became of the ship, 
and I should I verily believe have heard with com- 
posure that she was sinking. This continued until we 
reached the Canaries, when Mr. Rogers, the Chief mate, 
came into my cabin one morning soon after day broke, 
desiring I would get up and go upon deck to see the land, 
to which I replied, as I really thought was the case, that 
I had not strength left to enable me to do so. Whereupon 
Rogers, (a rough, vulgar, swearing seaman, but as good a 
creature as ever lived) said, " Pooh ! pooh ! Damn my 
eyes ! " (a common phrase of his upon all occasions) " What 
blasted stuff and nonsense is this ! Do you want to lay there 
and die ? Come, come, get up, I say, and draw a mouthful 
of fresh air, which will cure you." Finding I did not seem 
disposed to take his advice, he without further ceremony 
cast off the lanyards of my cot, and down it came. I there- 
fore had nothing left but to try and put on my clothes, 
Rogers sending his servant to assist me, and returning him- 
self to help me upon deck, where, on my arrival, a sublime 
scene presented itself to my sight. We were close in shore, 
under the Island of Teneriff e. The sun, which had not risen 
to us, was shining upon the upper part of the Peak, giving 
the most luxuriant tints to the snow capped summit of 
that stupendous mountain, and varying the colours as its 
light descended until the glorious orb appeared above our 
horizon, when a thousand new beauties of nature were 
displayed. The sea was serene and smooth as a looking 
glass. This I believe I may pronounce the first time I ever 
saw the sun rise except over the tops of houses in the smoky 
atmosphere of London. I continued upon deck, looking 
at the land as we gradually glided on until dinner was an- 
nounced, when I entered the Cuddy, eat near half of a 
boiled fowl, drank a pint of wine, and felt quite renovated. 
From that hour my sickness ceased, and I began to enjoy 
myself ; I entered into all the fun and joined in afl the 
tricks that went forward in the ship. 

Captain Waddell, then about fortjr years of age, naturally 
grave, with an appearance of shyness or reserve, possessed 



THE CAPTAIN OF THE PLASSEY 143 

one of the mildest and most equal tempers that ever man 
was blessed with, nor did I during a voyage out and home 
which I made in his ship, ever once see him angry, or hear 
him utter a single oath or hasty expression. He loved to 
sot the young people at some gambol or other, and was con- 
stantly promoting it. He was himself wonderfully active 
and strong, amongst various proofs of which, he did one feat 
that amazed the whole ship's company, and which I never 
knew any other person come at all near. It was this : 
Standing upon the Quarter deck, under the main shroud 
he laid hold of the first ratline with his right hand, then 
sprung to the second, with his left, and so on alternately, 
right and left, up to the last, close to the Futtock shrouds. 
The exertion in accomplishing this must have been pro- 
digious, nor was there another man in the ship, and we had 
many fine, active fellows on board, that could get beyond 
the third ratline, and only two that reached even the third. 
Having recovered my health, I mixed with all my ship- 
mates. I have already spoken generally of the Commander, 
and the Chief mate, the latter of whom from some peculiari- 
ties was called " Black Sam " and " Blackguard Sam," the 
first owing to his complexion being very dark. He was by 
birth an American, the second title he certainly merited, 
being uncommonly rough. He never uttered a sentence 
without embellishing it with oaths, "Damn my eyes," 
always uppermost, and he chewed tobacco in large quanti- 
ties, yet, as before observed, there never existed a better 
hearted man, or a more zealous friend. In his profession he 
could not be surpassed. The second officer, Chisholme, a 
proud Scotchman, was a handsome fellow, upwards of six 
feet high, and a perfect seaman. His family were pro- 
prietors of a valuable estate in the West Indies, in the 
marine trade of which ho had learnt his business. He had 
received an excellent education prior to going to sea ; he 
\va fond of argument, in which he often shewed great 
positiveness, and even insolence, yet he had candour enough 
to admit that such a mode of supporting an opinion was 
unbecoming and improper, adding, he had always been a 



144 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

spoilt child. This was only his second voyage to the East, 
and he used to boast that his interest would procure him 
the command of one of the Company's ships upon his 
return. Douglas, whom I have also mentioned as third 
officer, was remarkably dressy, so much so, as to be dis- 
tinguished in the service by the title of " Count Douglas," 
but although he laid out more money upon his person than 
was usual with men in his station, no one kept a stricter 
look out after the main chance than he did, well knowing 
how to make the most of every shilling and let pass no 
opportunity of doing so. His cabin, as I before observed, 
was elegance itself. His person was pretty good, but his 
features hideous, so ugly it would have been no easy matter 
to caricature it. In fact, it was more the face of a baboon 
than a human creature, notwithstanding which, so un- 
acquainted was he with his own countenance, or so eat up 
with vanity, that he thought every woman that beheld 
him must unavoidably fall in love with him. His address 
was certainly that of a gentleman, and man of the world. 
He was from the first very attentive and civil to me, desiring 
whenever I wanted to write, or wished to be alone, that I 
would make use of his cabin, he also gave me the key of 
his book case that I might supply myself with any books 
I pleased. He likewise was a Scotchman, as was Mr. 
Gowdie, our Surgeon, a plain, unaSected, good natured 
man, considered skilful in his line, who had been several 
voyages Surgeon of an East Indiaman. Jones, the purser, was 
one of those common characters one meets with every day. 

Mr. Jacob Rider, with whom I formed a friendship 
that continued uninterrupted through life, had been sent 
out a writer to Bengal in the year 1763. His family were 
connected by marriage with a branch of Lord Olive's, which 
nobleman, upon going to Bengal as Governor in 1764, 
made Rider's interest one of his first objects, giving him 
the appointment of Paymaster General to the army, a 
situation that in those days would have yielded him an 
overgrown fortune in a few years, but unfortunately for 
Eider in about six months after he filled that advantageous 



A GOOD APPOINTMENT LOST 145 

post a dispute arose between Lord Olive and the officers of 
the army, occasioned by a measure of his Lordship's which 
they deemed unjust and tyrannical, in which however 
Lord Olive persisting, the officers drew up a remonstrance 
couched in terms not only disrespectful, but little short of 
the language of mutiny. Aware of the consequences likely 
to ensue thereon, they adopted a practice then used in 
the Navy, signing their names in a circle, or what sailors 
called " a round Kobin " to avoid any individuals being 
singled out for punishment. In this instance the scheme 
did not succeed, for Lord Olive could give a tolerable 
guess who were the ringleaders, and accordingly dismissed 
a number of officers from the service, amongst whom were 
Mr. Eumbold, afterwards Governor of Madras, and Mr. 
Stables, a Supreme Councillor in Bengal, at that time both 
Captains in the Army. In looking over the names sub- 
scribed to the remonstrance, Lord Olive noticed that of 
" Jacob Rider " and immediately said to his Secretary, 
" Who is this Eider ? I don't recollect an officer of that 
name." The Secretary, who had ascertained the fact, 
replied, " My Lord, it is the Paymaster General." " The 
Paymaster General," (exclaimed his Lordship), " what can 
have induced the blockhead to lend his name to such an 
inflammatory, unjustifiable paper, with the subject matter 
of which he could not in any manner be affected. 
However, let him abide the consequences of such absurd 
conduct," and he gave orders forthwith to recall Eider, 
appointing another person in his stead, and upon his 
arrival at the Presidency, sent him on board a ship bound 
for England, declaring he never should be restored to the 
service. Thus dearly did Eider pay for ridiculously en* 
gaging in a controversy with which he ought not to have 
had any tiling to do. 

When Lord Olive returned to Europe he was applied to on 
behalf of the ci devant Paymaster, but refused to see him 
or have any thing to say to him. He however, after some 
time, so far relented as to say that though he never would 
befriend Mr. Eider again, lie would not oppose his restora- 



146 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

tion to the service. Rider had personal influence enough 
to get that point carried, and was returning with his rank 
(a Factor) when I met him in the Plassey, on board which 
ship he had a third of the great cabin, in which apartment, 
or in Douglas's, I passed most of the mornings. 

Eider had with him an enormous dog of the Newfound- 
land breed, who soon attached himself so much to me 
that I could not stir without his being close after me. His 
name was Beau, and a noble animal he was. Of poor 
Beau more hereafter. 

Early in the voyage I thought there was at all times a 
great coolness in the manner of Mr. Chisholme towards 
Captain Waddell, which the more surprized me because the 
Commander's behaviour to him was polite and civil as 
could be. Happening one morning to mention the subject 
to Eider, he at once explained the matter thus : The Plassey 
belonged almost wholly to Mr. John Durand, a man who had 
acquired a large fortune in the command of a Country ship I 
by trading between the different ports and places in the 
Eastern Ocean. He was therefore the managing owner or 
what is technically called "Ship's husband," in which 
capacity the nomination or at least approbation of all the 
officers rested with him. Captain Waddell had succeeded 
to the command of the Plasszy upon the death of her 
Commander at Bencoolen, thereby becoming what was 
called by the wags of those days " One of God Almighty's 
Captains." As such he conducted the ship home, Eogers, 
who had been second mate, thus rising to Chief, and Douglas, 
late third, to second. Upon their arrival in England, Mr. 
Durand, who was well acquainted with the superior quali- 
fications and merits of Waddell as a navigator and seaman, 
directly and voluntarily confirmed him in the command 
of the ship. Captain Waddell thereupon called upon Mr. 
Durand to thank him, at the same time asking whether 
he had any person to whom he meant to give the situations 

1 Sometimes English ships are referred to by Hiokey as " Country " 
ships, but occasionally h applies the same description to those of the 
country in which he may happen to be. Ed. 



THE CAPTAIN'S SENSE OF JUSTICE 147 

of Chief and second mates, as, if not, he much wished to 
continue his present officers, Messrs. Eogers and Douglas. 
Durand without hesitation replied he knew the characters 
of both those gentlemen very well and was happy to con- 
firm them in the situations of chief and second mates. 
Captain Waddell of course communicated this circum- 
stance to Rogers and Douglas, who in consequence did not 
look out for other employ. 

In due course the Plassey was taken up for a voyage 
to Madras and China, Rogers and Douglas acting for 
several weeks as Chief and second officers, and a 
day was appointed for them to attend at the India 
house to be sworn in to their respective situations 
according to the usual course of the service, two days prior 
to which intended examination Durand wrote to Captain 
Waddcll to say he should be under the necessity of putting 
in a new second officer, and would endeavour to provide 
otherwise for Douglas. Captain Waddoll, equally surprized 
and hurt, directly went to Duraaid, and stated the cruelty 
and injustice of such a measure to Mr. Douglas, an officer 
of acknowledged abilities, who had since the ship came 
afloat been doing the duty of second and had actually 
refused a second male's berth in a ship then departed, from 
attachment to the Flnssey in which he had been three 
voyages. Durand admitted the hardship upon Douglas, 
but wiicl he was so peculiarly circumstanced the act became 
unavoidable, as he had been applied to from a quarter of so 
much weight, such importance to his own interest, for a 
second mate's situation, ho could not refuse it even had he 
been obliged to turn out his own son. Captain Waddell 
thereupon observed that his (Durand's) interest was no 
apology or justification for a breach of faith; that Mr. 
.Douglas had acted in the situation with his sanction, and 
continue it ho must. Durand with groat hauteur replied 
lie should not, and they parted in great anger. 

On the day appointed, Captain Waddell was sworn into 
the command of t he ship, Mr. Rogers as Chief Mate, and Mr. 
Chwholmc was called in for the same purpose as second, when 



148 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Captain Waddell immediately objected to Chisholme, assign- 
ing his reason, and stating all that had passed. The Directors 
were quite nonplussed, for Durand had such influence with 
most of them that they wished to gratify him, yet the stub- 
born facts related by Captain Waddell made them feel 
ashamed publicly to be guilty of the flagrant injustice. 
They therefore adjourned without swearing any second. 
In the interval between that and the next Court clay several 
of the Directors endeavoured to persuade Captain Waddell 
to concede the point to Durand, but they knew not the 
man they had to deal with. Convinced he was right, nothing 
could make him deviate. He observed to the applicants 
that it undoubtedly was in Mr. Durand's power to deprive 
him of the command of the ship, and equally so in that of the 
Court of Directors if they thought fit, but that it was out of 
the power of any man or set of men living to make him com- 
mit a base or unjust action, which in his opinion putting 
Mr. Chisholme into Douglas's place would be, and therefore 
no consideration on earth should induce him to consent to it. 
Finding Captain Waddell was not to be brought over, 
Durand's friends attacked Douglas, recommending his 
interference with the Captain to prevail on him to receive 
Chisholme, and let him (Douglas) go third. But this 
Douglas very properly refused. The contest ended by 
Chisholme's being sworn in, not only against the Captain's 
will, but without his accepting him the only instance of 
the kind that ever occurred in the service yet Captain 
Waddell, conscious that no personal blame attached to 
Chisholme in the transaction, never betrayed the slightest 
resentment towards him, treating him at all times with the 
utmost respect and kindncKS. Cliiwholmc however, not 
possessing the same independent and manly spirit, nor the 
same liberal sentiments as Captain Waddell, felt awkward 
at knowing he had been thus forced upon him, and it 
occasioned in him a constant and continued shyness and 
reserve towards his Commander. Mr. Douglas having 
been thus ill treated by Durand, and the Court of Directors, 
Captain Waddell thought it his duty to make him every 



FLYING FISH AND DOLPHINS 149 

compensation in his power. He therefore put Ms officers 
upon three watches instead of two, as was usual., giving the 
command of the third watch to Douglas. He also allotted 
him a much larger space than he was entitled to for his 
cabin, gave him a seat at his table, and in short shewed him 
every indulgence in his power. 

The Plassey was a remarkably fast sailer, from which she 
had acquired the name of " The Fl}ing Plassey.' 5 In running 
down the British Channel we beat all the Fleet, and, as I 
was informed, by the time we were abreast the Land's end* 
the whole of them were out of sight astern. 

Nothing surprized me so much as the flying fish. I had 
heard of such fish, but considered it as a mere joke until 
immense shoals of them appeared, several at different times 
flying against the sails and dropping upon deck, which 
afforded us an opportunity of inspecting them closely and 
examining the form and texture of the wings. It is a 
curious circumstance, and almost induces a belief that 
providence has dealt unjustly by this little creature, for 
although the peculiarity of wings seems to have been 
furnished them as a protection, and that they have the 
power of using them while any moisture remains, and so as 
to carry them eight hundred or a thousand yards upon a 
stretch, yet their principal enemies and pursuers, the 
dolphin, which is a very rapid swimming fish, keep their 
eye upon and proceed exactly under them while flying, 
and the instant they touch the sea to re-wet their wings, 
snap them up by hundreds. They have, too, another 
set of equally implacable and active enemies in the air, 
various aquatic birds pursuing and eating them up during 
their short flights, and thus they run equal risk of destruc- 
tion in both elements. 

Passing the Canary Islands, the next land we saw was the 
Cape De Verds, through the cluster of which, forming a very 
pleasant sight, we ran in smooth water and fine weather. 
When drawing near the line, we had for several days and nights 
successively tremendous thunder and lightning, such as we 
landsmen had never before beheld, and, when little wind t 



150 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

a number of sharks followed close to the ship. These fish 
being near a ship, seamen, who are generally superstitious, 
deem a bad sign, and to portend death on board. Whether 
this idea be well founded or not, I cannot take upon me 
to say, but certain it is that during the attendance of at 
least a dozen sharks, we lost a man, and one of no small 
consequence, being no less a personage than the Captain's 
cook, who being seized with a fever, was carried off by it 
within thirty hours. His death however, did not prove 
so serious a loss as we were at first apprehensive it would, 
Mr. Chisholme having a Caffree servant who had been taught 
to dress turtle in the West Indies, and afterwards attended 
the kitchens of some of the most celebrated taverns in 
London, which had cost his Master upwards of fifty 
guineas. He undoubtedly was an admirable cook. 

Upon crossing the line, all those who had never done so 
before paid the customary forfeit of a gallon of rum to the 
ship's crew, except Mr. Smith the Scotch Cadet, who not 
being over stocked with money to purchase the spirits, 
preferred submitting to the ceremony of ducking and 
shaving, which he went through to our infinite amuse- 
ment. 

There was nothing I felt the want of so much as bread, 
for in those days it was not customary to make that article 
on board East Indiamen, and it unluckily happened that 
the biscuit was uncommonly bad and flinty, so that it was 
with difficulty I could penetrate it with my teeth. This 
being the subject of conversation one day at table, a question 
arose as to the time in which a person might eat one of 
these biscuits, which ended in a wager of five guineas 
between Rider and Grant, the former laying the latter that 
he did not get rid of one by his teeth in four minutes. He 
was to have no liquid to aid him. A bag of biscuits being 
brought to table, the Doctor by mutual consent put his 
hand in and brought out one, which was to be that of trial. 
Chance here operated against Grant, for it proved an un- 
commonly hard one, and he had difficulty in breaking it in 
two. A watch being laid upon the table, at it he went 



BACKING THE SHIP'S BISCUIT 151 

with, a set of remarkably strong teeth, but strong as they 
were, we all thought he must lose his bet, and he was twice 
in extreme danger of choking, by which he lost several 
seconds. Notwithstanding this however, he, to our great 
surprize, accomplished his object, and won the wager, being 
six seconds within the given time. 



CHAPTER XIII 

INCIDENTS OF THE VOYAGE TO MADRAS 

TN March we approached the Cape of Good Hope, where 
JL Captain Waddell had given us hopes of stopping, and 
we landsmen were delighted with the expectation of soon 
setting our feet once more upon terra ftrma, when the 
Captain one morning whilst we were at breakfast observed 
that there was a glorious breeze, fair as it could blow, which 
would speedily take us round the tremendous promontory 
of Africa, a circumstance of far more importance than eating 
grapes at the Cape town, and lengthening our voyage 
perhaps a month. The " glorious breeze " however in no 
way consoled us for our disappointment, and we were rather 
sulky during a couple of days, at the end of which time we 
were reconciled to passing our favourite port, and good 
humour was restored. Our fellow passenger, Court, was a 
constant source of amusement by his monkey tricks and 
whimsical behaviour. 

Having completely rounded the Cape, and Coast of Africa, 
we bore up for the Mosambique Channel, or inner passage. 
Passing the Southern point of Madagascar, the weather 
became moderately clear, with a smooth sea. I was one 
morning walking the deck, when Rogers, whose watch it 
was, sitting upon the Quarter called to me in Ms usual style, 
" Come here, Bill." I accordingly stepped upon one of the 
Quarter deck guns, and observing him to point downwards, 
I looked into the sea, where to my great terror and surprize I 
beheld the rocks, as they appeared to me, close to the ship's 
bottom but Rogers assured me they wereat least fortyfathoms 
below us. In a few minutes after, however, he exclaimed, 
"Damn my eyes if I like this," and instantly ran into the 
Round house. Captain Waddell, returning with him upon 

152 



UNCHARTED ROCKS 153 

deck, ordered the course to be altered three points, and the 
lead to be cast, which being done, they found only four 
fathoms, so that if there had been any sea the ship would 
have struck. These rocks it seems were not properly laid 
down in the charts, at the time we were over them, not 
being in sight of land and the Charts making them within 
five leagues of Madagascar, whereas we were upwards of 
twenty off shore. By standing off an hour we lost sight of 
the rocks, and were once more in deep water. Ten days 
after this occurrence a strange sail was discovered upon our 
beam, standing as we did, which upon nearing us hoisted 
English colours. In the afternoon she joined company, 
proving to be the Hampshire,, Captain Smith, one of the 
Fleet that left the Downs with us. The Commanders 
agreed to continue together, and put into Johanna for 
supplies of water and fresh provisions. In four days we 
made the land. 

The Island of Johanna in approaching it affords one of 
the most luxuriant and picturesque scenes it is possible to 
conceive, and doubtless it abounds with natural beauties, 
A most elegant and poetical description of it is given by 
Sir William Jones, that eminent and learned man who 
stopped there on his way to India. It is not considered 
healthy, especially at night, and Captain Waddell advised 
us by no means to sleep on shore, but to go early 
and amuse ourselves during the day, returning on board 
before dark, which advice we followed. 

Upon coming to an anchor, the ship was immediately sur- 
rounded by canoes, crowded with people (who in appearance 
much resemble Caffres) bringing with them poultry, eggs, fish, 
fruits of various kinds, for sale, of which latter we enjoyed 
the pineapples, oranges, guavas and bananas exceedingly. 
They spoke a strange jargon, intended as English, frequently 
repeating these words, " Johanna man, Englishman, all a 
one brother come. Englishman man very good man, drink 
ee de punch, fire de gun, beatee de French, very good fun." 
Their canoes are formed out of the trunk of a single tree, 
long, and very narrow, consequently so unsteady it would 



154 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

be scarcely possible to use them but for the outriggers. 
These are strong and strait poles, one laid across at the 
head, another at the stern of the canoe. From the ex- 
tremity of each end a flat plank is laid, and securely tied, 
of about ten inches in width, so that when the canoe lieels 
either way these planks coming flat upon the surface of the 
sea, naturally make a resistance sufficient in common cases 
to prevent her oversetting, which without such a con- 
trivance she certainly would do. 

Upon going ashore at the watering place, we walked from 
thence to the town, distant about a mile. The streets, if 
such they may be called, not being above four feet wide, 
are long and straight, the habitations constructed of clay and 
wicker work, and from their regularity and cleanliness 
make a pretty and very neat appearance. Here we got 
abundance of eggs, good fowls, but a very small breed, 
plenty of excellent fish, well tasted beef, the cattle also 
remarkably small, and many kinds of vegetables quite new 
to us. The natives amuse themselves with their bulls, 
which are fierce little animals. Turning one of these loose, 
four or five men, wholly unarmed, encounter him, each 
person carrying in his hands a piece of cloth about six feet 
in length and three in width, which they spread out, dancing 
before the bull, who becomes enraged thereat and with vast 
fury assails the person nearest to him, who with much 
activity and dexterity entangles the horns of the beast 
with his cloth, thus preventing any injury to himself. 
While the animal is endeavouring to disencumber himself 
of the cloth, they continue singing and dancing around him. 
Having accomplished the destruction of the cloth, chiefly by 
means of his fore feet, he attacks another of his opponents, 
and so on until the beast is so fatigued as to fall down, or 
that the men themselves are sufficiently tired. They told 
us that accidents sometimes, though not frequently, did 
happen, and the men got severely gored. Having spent 
the day very agreeably we returned to the ship. Beau, 
Mr. Rider's Newfoundland clog, was our constant companion 
in our rambles, and we had no small difficulty in preventing 



JOHANNA'S PRINCE OF WALES 155 

him from attacking the bulls, which in fact were not much 
larger than himself. 

The second day we again landed early, wandering about 
the country and going to see a stupendous natural 
cascade, where an immense body of water poured down a 
declivity nearly perpendicular, of at least five hundred 
feet. It was in a most romantic part of the Island, 
about three miles inland. Within sight of this noble fall 
of water we sat down to dinner, having carried provender 
with us, under one of the largest and most spreading trees 
I ever beheld, the branches of which were covered with a 
species of bat, which Europeans call flying foxes, having a 
head greatly resembling that animal, with beautiful white 
and strong teeth, their bite being very severe. My com- 
panions, who had guns with them, shot several. 

The third morning we prepared for another excursion, 
Captain Waddell desiring us to be on board again by sun 
set, as Captain Smith and he had settled to leave the Island 
soon after, with the breeze that generally came off the land. 
While a boat was getting ready for us, we heard an amazing 
outcry in the steerage, which upon enquiry we found 
proceeded from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales /, 
who upon being told that was the title given to the King 
of England's eldest son, insisted upon his having it also, 
as he was the King of Johanna's only son. His Highness 
however, forgetting his elevated rank, had stolen a silver 
tea spoon while visiting Mr. Chisholme in his cabin, and 
his Prime Minister, not to be behind hand with his royal 
master, purloined a blanket. Both culprits being caught 
in the act, Chisholme was administering summary justice 
by horse whipping those great men, which occasioned the 
uproar. The unfortunate Prince and his Officer of State, 
after a smart chastisement were turned out of the ship with 
ignominy, and orders given that they neither of them 
should ever more be permitted to come on board. 

Having landed and amused ourselves as on the preceding 
days, about five o'clock we left the town, walking towards the 
watering place in search of the pinnace which daily attended 



156 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

near that part, to carry us off. In our road we met the 
Surgeon of the Hampshire, who said, if wo would follow him 
we should see some sport. Two foolish lads, passengers 
of theirs at the third mate's table, going out Cadets to 
Bombay, had gambled during the voyage, and upon settling 
their card account that morning, differed materially as to 
the balance, which produced a violent quarrel. After 
abusing each other in the most scurrilous and blackguard 
language, they boxed, whereupon the officers interfered, 
observing that if upon their arrival in India the Commander 
in Chief should hear of such ungcntlomanliko conduct, they 
certainly would be dismissed the service, and they per- 
suaded them that the only way to avoid such a fate would bo 
to meet as officers should, and settle their dispute in the 
field. So serious a measure neither of the disputants seemed 
willing to adopt, until assured if they did not they would be 
sent to Coventry by their messmates and every person in 
the ship. They then reluctantly consented to a meeting, 
but it would have been difficult to decide which was most 
frightened at the thoughts of such a step. The Fourth 
mate consented to be second to one of the combatants, the 
Doctor's assistant to the other, these seconds having 
privately agreed not to put any ball in the pistols. 

Having been made acquainted with these particulars, wo 
accompanied the Doctor to the spot where the dire conflict 
was to take place, the two heroes having arrived there just 
before us and in a sad tremour. The ceremony of loading 
the pistols by the seconds being finished, they next spoke 
of distance, the Doctor proposing six paces ! upon 
which both violently protested against being BO near, one 
of them saying he understood thirty yards was the 
usual space. The seconds told them the pistols would not 
carry much further. After much argument and discussion, 
it was resolved that twelve paces should bo the distance. 
This the parties concerned pronounced absolute butchery. 
They nevertheless were obliged to yield, and finding that 
to be the case, insisted that the Fourth mate, who had much 
longer legs than the Deputy Surgeon, should measure the 



AN AMUSING DUEL 157 

space, and he accordingly did so. The antagonists were 
then desired to take their stations, there being no time to 
spare. The object the principals appeared to have in view 
was to squabble and dispute until it really became too late 
to fight, but the seconds seeing that, insisted upon their 
presenting and discharging their pistols at each other upon 
the word being given. Unwillingly they took their respec- 
tive stations, when one of them turned to his second, saying 
his antagonist owed him forty dollars, and it was very 
hard that he should be obliged to risk his money as well as 
his life. This created another pause, but was settled by 
his second engaging in the event of the debtor being slain, 
that he would pay to the survivor the amount due, gravely 
adding, he conceived he was not in much danger of being 
called upon, as in all probability two such desperate cham- 
pions would both end their lives upon the spot. 

The poor devils, not being able to devise any further mode 
of delay, and the signal being given to fire, they did so in the 
same moment, when to our surprize and alarm down dropped 
one of them, apparently dead. This led us to apprehend that 
the seconds had not kept the private agreement, or at least 
that one of them had loaded with ball. We all ran up to 
the prostrate youth, and had the satisfaction to find him 
unhurt, he having fallen through sheer terror. A glass of 
brandy from the pocket flask of one of the company soon 
restored him, when he positively declared he heard the ball 
whiz by close to his ear, which he thought it had hit. The 
combatants were then congratulated upon the gallantry 
they had both shewn and were assured that they had done 
all that was required of men of honour and gentlemen, upon 
which they shook hands, mutually rejoiced at having got 
so well out of a dangerous scrape. 

This comedy had nearly proved tragic to some of us, 
for we had bestowed so much time upon it that the 
sun had sunk below the horizon near an hour when we 
arrived at the watering place. A beautiful full moon, 
however, had risen with a cloudless sky. We were told 
that the coxswain of the pinnace, supposing we should 



158 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

not come there, had taken the boat to the town to look 
for us. Seeing both ships with all their sails set though 
there was scarcely a breath of wind, we grew uneasy, and 
applied to the people of a large canoe that was going a 
fishing, to take us off to the ships, who consented to do so 
for five dollars, which we paid and embarked, our party 
consisting of Messrs. Rider and Grant, the Surgeon of the 
Hampshire and myself, besides poor Beau and the boat 
people, two men and a boy, this cargo being more than the 
boat with propriety ought to have held in her at once, as 
we sunk the outriggers quite to the surface of the water, 
thereby destroying much of their effect. Just as we were 
pushing from the shore, our ship's gunner came to the 
water side requesting a cast on board. I observed we were 
already too deep, asking the gunner whether he could swim, 
to which he answered : 

" No, Sir, not a stroke." 

Then added I : 

" You shall not come in here ; we are enough to be 
drowned at once." 

The gunner said : 

" Very well, gentlemen, then I'll get another conveyance," 
and we proceeded, the two natives paddling and the boy 
steering. 

Soon after we had so put off, the Doctor, thinking he 
could work harder than the man that sat directly before 
him, took his paddle out of his hand, and laboured at it 
several minutes until about mid-way, that is, a mile from 
the shore and the same distance from the ship, when turning 
his head to look towards the ship, he thereby missed his 
stroke, lost his balance and falling on one side, his weight 
overset the canoe, and we were all submerged in the ocean. 
As I immediately sank, I gave myself up for lost, as I 
reasonably might, for I could not swim and had a heavy, 
laced, regimental coat on, with boots, but soon finding my 
head above water I splashed and dashed at a great rate. 
On my first rising, the Johanna boy was close to me, holding 
out Eider's famous Nivernois hat as if he expected me to 



AN ESCAPE FROM DROWNING 159 

take it ; at the same time Eider, who was close to me, and 
I grappled, and down we went together, but when under 
water an immense thick, false club of hair which I had 
lashed on, (having been advised to cut my own hair off 
previous to going to sea) and which he fortunately had 
seized hold of, came ofi in his hand and we got clear of each 
other, when I again found my head above water, and Grant, 
who was an uncommon fine swimmer, came to my assistance. 
The instant he did so I seized him round the neck, and 
under water we went together, where from his superior 
skill, by a sudden dart downward he got rid of me, and 
considered me then as irrecoverably gone, but, to his great 
surprize, I once more made my appearance on the surface, 
and notwithstanding my former fastening upon him, he 
again swam towards me, calling out that he wished to assist 
me and take me to the canoe, which he would try to do if I 
would let him and not attempt violently to grasp hold of 
him, for if I did it would tend to the destruction of both. 
Exhausted and terrified as I was, I had still sense enough 
to feel the force of what he said, and I therefore let 
him take my arm round his neck without any violence on 
my part, and he thus conducted me to the canoe which lay 
bottom upwards, and I hung by one of the outriggers, the 
Doctor of the Hampshire, who was seated astride upon her, 
lending his aid to keep me up. Grant then went to assist 
Rider, who, besides swimming a little, was, from his form, 
much more buoyant than me, and he helped him also to 
the upset canoe. 

Grant had no doubt made me his first object, induced 
thereto from knowing that I could not swim at all, 
but this Rider never would give him credit for, often 
afterwards angrily saying, " Nonsense, it is no such thing. 
He had a more substantial and selfish reason. He knew 
well that by the death of a Madras cadet he could be no 
gainer, whereas by mine, he got a step in the service, and 
therefore he passed me to go to the assistance of Hickey." 
Captain Waddell, after repeatedly hearing this illiberal 
declaration of Rider's, one day mildly said, "he thought 



160 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

lie (Rider) did Grant injustice, for had he been capable of 
such reasoning and motives at such an awful crisis, he 
would probably have left us both to perish, instead of 
risking his own life to preserve ours, as he certainly had 
done, and in doing which he had shewn a most extra- 
ordinary degree of personal bravery and perseverance." 

After Grant had thus conveyed Rider and me to the 
overset canoe, and we had been clinging to her several 
minutes, every one of which appeared an age, we were 
suddenly from an unaccountable motion of the canoe, 
again under water and again relieved by our preserver 
Grant, soon after which we had the supreme felicity to see 
another canoe paddling towards us, but on coming near 
the natives in her stopped, crying out, " Too much man, 
too much man/ 5 and were actually turning about to pull 
away, when the gunner who was in her, and had been 
attracted by our cries, partly by threat, and partly by 
bribes, made the people approach us, but having accom- 
plished that, it was found impossible to receive us, the 
canoe being a very small one. After some consultation 
the gunner made the men belonging to her jump overboard, 
and with their assistance I was got into the canoe, which 
being effected they righted the upset one, Rider and the 
rest getting into it. The Doctor had never once let go his 
hold, sticking constantly to some part of the canoe and 
scrambling up till he seated himself upon her bottom. 

As I was nearly senseless and full of the water I had swal- 
lowed, the Doctor directed the canoes to return to the shore, 
there to use means to restore me. This was accordingly 
done ; the moment we reached the shore they got me out 
and dispatched the smallest canoe to the ship for assistance, 
but in five minutes after we landed three boats belonging 
to the Hampshire, with Captain Smith himself in one of 
them, came in consequence of one of the canoe men having 
swam on board her, and told them all the gentlemen were 
drowned. On their way from the ship they observed some- 
thing white floating upon the water, which they rowed to 
supposing it to be one of us, when it was found to be the 



THE STRANGE DEATH OF "BEAU" 161 

clog Beau, quite dead. The only way so singular a circum- 
stance could be accounted for, the animal being almost 
amphibious, was that being asleep when the canoe overset, 
he naturally endeavoured to strike upwards, which was of 
course in vain, against the inside of the canoe's bottom, and 
that thus the noble creature was suffocated before he cleared 
himself. It was also conjectured that the dip under water 
we experienced whilst hanging by the outriggers was owing 
to his last and expiring struggle. It certainly was a wonder- 
ful thing that four persons, three of whom could not swim, 
should be in the sea such a time as we were, so often under 
water too, and yet all be preserved, whilst so powerful a 
water dog as ce Beau " should lose his life in that element, 
yet so it was. 

Captain Smith, seeing how nearly gone I was, and how 
extremely ill I continued, made the people lay me in his 
Cutter, being the swiftest boat of the three, and himself with 
his Doctor attended mo to the Phtsscy, on our way to which 
we met the latter's boats coming in search of us. Being 
hoisted in by a chair, I was put to bed in the Captain's 
apartment, the Round house, as the quietest part of the 
ship, and there fomented with a suecessioxi of flannels 
steeped in hot brandy mixed with laudanum, the flannels 
being laid on my breast and, stomueh hot as could be borne. 
Doctor Gowciie sat up with me all night, having little hope 
of my surviving till morning as 1 was in great agony, and 
with extreme diflie.uHy respired. Captains Waddcll and 
Smith (the latter either coming in person, or sending daily to 
enquire after me) were unremitting in their kindness and 
attention, as indeed was everybody about me, and it was 
very ilaUermg to find myself so mue.h the object of anxiety 
to both ships. 1 continued in a dangerous and precarious 
state during eight days, at the end of which time 
I recovered rapidly. Rider had been a good deal hurt too 
by the quantity of salt water he had swallowed. He never 
cordially forgave Grant for passing him and swimming to 
my relief. The first times we conversed together after I 
was out of danger, instead of expressing gratitude to a benovo- 



162 MEMOIRS OP WILLIAM HICKEY 

lent providence for his marvellous escape, he began a bitter 
lamentation upon the loss of his darling dog, saying he 
wished he had been drowned himself rather than poor 
"beau." This improper language caused him a severe 
rebuke from Captain Waddell for his impiety and ingrati-. 
tude 8 



CHAPTER XIV 

MADRAS 

"YT 7"E had light winds for a fortnight after leaving Johanna, 
T V being so long in company with the Hampshire, but her 
course then differing from ours, she being bound to Bombay, 
we separated, each ship's crew giving Three Cheers on 
parting. 

On the first of May we made the Coast of Cororaandel, 
a few miles to the Southward of Pondioherry, running 
along the land until evening, when falling calm, we came 
to an anchor, to wait the land breeze, which would carry 
us into Madras roads by day light of the following morning. 
At the usual hour I went to my cot, but the thoughts of being 
so near the place o our destination entirely banished sleep, 
and finding all my efforts were in vain, [ put on my clothes 
and went upon deck, .fust an I got my head above the 
Companion ladder, 1 felt an indescribably unpleasant sensa- 
tion, suddenly, as it were, losing the power of breathing, 
which alarmed mo much, for I supposed it to be the fore- 
runner of one of those horrid Indian fevers of which I had 
heard BO much during our voyage. Whilst worried by this 
idea, my friend Rogers, whose watch it was, said to 
mo, " Well, Bill, what do you think of this ? How do you 
like the delightful breexo you arc doomed to Bpend your life 
in ? " Enquiring what ho meant, 1 found that what had 
so surprised and alarmed me was nothing more than the 
common land wind blowing as usual at that hour directly 
of! shore, and so intensely hot that 1 could compare it only 
to standing within the oppressive influence of the steam of 
a furnace. At day break we weighed anchor, standing for 
Madras, which we had scarcely reached when wo heard that 
Mr. Peter King, the Ship's carpenter, a strong made, 
vigorous man, was taken suddenly and violently ill with 

103 



164 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

cramp in Ms limbs and stomach. He was put into a 
warm bath as soon as water could be heated, and every 
remedy applied, without avail ; in one hour from his 
being first seized he was no more. This quick death, 
added to the horrid land wind, gave me a very unfavour- 
able opinion of the East Indies. 

Captain Waddell, with a considerateness peculiar to him, 
and in a most engaging manner had, a few days previous 
to our arrival, separately invited each of his passengers to 
reside with him until we could deliver our letters, and have 
sufficient time to settle ourselves, and the morning we got 
into the roads he offered to take me on shore in his boat, 
observing he knew from my punctuality I should not keep 
him waiting, which he was sure the others would, and he 
therefore should not ask any other as he wanted to land 
as speedily as possible. I thankfully accepted his offer, 
and may without vanity add he did me justice in alluding 
to my punctuality, as through life I always made it a point 
correctly to keep every appointment whether of business 
or pleasure, never letting any person lose his time on my 
account. Immediately after breakfast therefore I left the 
Plassey with Captain Waddell, in a Masulah boat, which 
are constructed expressly for passing the surf that breaks 
violently along the whole coast in three separate and dis- 
tinct waves, the first bursting upon the shore, the second 
from one hundred to one hundred and fifty yards further 
out, and the third, or outer, nearly at the same distance from 
the second. The effect of this surf, and the numerous 
accidents that happen from it, is generally the topic of 
conversation the first fortnight of a voyage out, so that 
although I was in some measure prepared for it, the tre- 
mendous roaring and foaming of the sea made my heart 
palpitate rather quicker than in common. 

The boats are formed of broad planks, literally sewed 
together with the twisted fibres of bark from the cocoa 
nut tree, the bottom flat, the sides straight up to a 
certain height, and then inclining inwards to the upper 
edge, both ends are alike except that at the stern there 



THE MASTJLAH BOAT 165 

is a small platform upon which the person that steers 
stands. A boat thus constructed must necessarily leak 
greatly ; one man is therefore stationed for the sole 
purpose of baling the water out, and to prevent new 
comers, especially women, from seeing the quantity of 
water constantly pouring in by the seams at her bottom 
a weed, something like heath furzeis laid there more than 
a foot deep. They are about sixteen feet long, seven wide, 
and five deep, quite open, with a single board across for a 
seat at regular distances ; are rowed by eight or ten, two 
sitting upon each bench, the passengers on the one nearest 
the stern. The reason of their being sewed together in- 
stead of the usual fastenings is that, in case of touching 
the ground between the surfs, they may remain upright, the 
sides yielding to the next sea that strikes and lifts her up 
again. 

Upon reaching the shore much adroitness is shewn in 
preventing the return of the surge carrying her out again 
with it, for it runs with wonderful velocity. The moment 
she first touches the beach the steersman lays her broad- 
side to the sea, the crew, with ropes in their hands, jump- 
ing out and checking her so as to prevent the return to sea 
(though they sometimes fail in their object), the next surf 
then strikes her upon the broad side, driving her up high 
and dry upon the sand, in which last operation the spray 
usually beats entirely over the boat, giving those seated in 
her a complete ducking. 

We had in the Masulah with us a figure which I 
supposed to be a female, drest in white muslin coming 
close round the throat, the body also close, but con- 
tinued into a kind of petticoat hanging loose and large 
to the feet. This I learnt was the Captain's Dubash, a 
native man acting as general steward who provides every 
household article as well as of merchandize, and engages 
all inferior servants. In our way to the shore he informed 
Captain Waddell that two large ships we saw at an anchor 
were the Pigot, Captain Richardson, and the Hector, 
Captain Williams (two of our Downs fleet) that came in 



166 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

the preceding day. We afterwards, upon comparing log 
books, ascertained that the Plassey was the first round the 
Cape by eighteen days, but the above named two ships, 
and three others, having, instead of going to the Mosambique 
Channel as we did, proceeded by the outer passage, that is, 
run down their Easting in a high southern latitude, when 
they met with such strong westerly gales as to drive them 
two hundred and twenty odd miles every four and twenty 
hours for many successive days, whilst we who were between 
Madagascar and the main land experienced light winds and 
calms, had thus outstretched us ; such is the chance in 
navigating. 

To return to the Masulah boat. Notwithstanding the 
"Dubash"and the rowers assured us the surf was very 
moderate that morning, I thought it the most terrific thing I 
had ever beheld, nor was my alarm at all lessoned by ob- 
serving as we approached it that Captain Waddell threw aside 
a large boat cloak which ho had thrown over Inn own and 
my shoulders to protect us both from the spray of the sea 
and intense heat of the sun, and also took oil his gloves. 
Upon my asking the reason of his so doing, ho replied, 
" I don't know that there is any immediate danger, but 
it is as well to be prepared for the worst." (I had often 
heard he was an excellent swimmer.) Three or four strange 
looking things now came close to our boat, which 1 under- 
stood were called Catamarans, consisting of nothing more 
than two or three large trees, the trunk part only, strongly 
lashed together, upon which sat two men nearly in a state 
of nature, as indeed were those of the Masulah boat, having 
no sort of covering but a small piece of rag tied with a 
string round the middle. The Catamarans aecompuny 
the Masulah boats through the surf, iuul when an accident 
happens endeavour to pick up the unfortunate passengers. 
The men belonging to thorn are perpetually washed off 
by the violence of the sea but, being like fishes in the 
water, easily regain their seats upon the logs. It is curious 
to see how well they manage these xmwieltly machines, and 
the rate at which they paddle them along. 



LANDING THROUGH THE SURF 167 

Upon coming to the edge of the outer surf the man 
at the stern of our boat, steering with a long oar began 
to stamp with his feet and roar like a Bedlamite, the 
rowers joining in the hideous yell, pulling with all their 
might, all together frequently crying, " Yalee ! Yalee ! 
Yalee ! " Before I knew where we had got to, I 
was astonished to see a prodigious curling white foam 
following within a foot of our boat's stern, about which I 
found the people were perfectly indifferent, and Captain 
Waddell informed me that was the outer surf which w r e 
had safely passed. In like manner we went in with the 
second and third, reaching the beach with scarce a sprink- 
ling, and we heard from many bystanders that the surf 
was uncommonly low. The Catamaran people followed us, 
begging money for attending us, which I gave them with 
pleasure, heartily rejoiced at being clear of Madras surf. 
Upon jumping out of the boat I sunk up to my ankle in a 
burning sand, the effect of which I never can forget. 

Upon the Captain's landing he was saluted with nine 
guns from the Fort according to custom in those days. 
We were then conducted by the Dubash to a very hand- 
some house in Fort St. George, which had been taken by 
Captain Richardson for himself and our Commander pur- 
suant to an agreement between them previous to leaving 
England. Here at one o'clock we sat down to an admirable 
good dinner, and were vastly comfortable, Captain Waddell 
promising to introduce me to Governor Bourchier the 
following morning, for whom I had several letters, as I 
likewise had to General Richard Smith, the Commander in 
Chief, Sir Robert Fletcher, Mr. Du Pre, first in Council, Mr. 
Ardley, Mr. Dawson (both also Members of Council), and 
many other gentlemen high in the service. With Mr. 
Dawson I expected to reside, he having married Miss 
Charlton, who, as well as a brother of hers, Francis Charl- 
ton, had been fitted out and sent to India entirely at my 
father's cost. Mrs. Dawson died about six months prior 
to my arrival at Madras to the great grief of her disconso- 
late husband. These Charltons were the children of a much 



168 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

valued friend of my father's who, dying in indigent circum- 
stances, left a numerous family dependent upon the bounty 
of his friends. This was the gentleman with whom Edmund 
Watts, that I have before mentioned, lived for several 
years. 

The morning after our arrival when seated at the break- 
fast table, Captain Richardson came in from his ride, and 
addressing me, said : 

" What ! are you still here, young gentleman ? Pray 
why don't you go to the Port Major who will provide you 
with quarters in the Barracks, the proper place for you as 
a cadet. 5 ' 

" And pray," sharply retorted I, " who the devil are 
you that thus impertinently obtrude your opinion respecting 
what I ought to do. I take the liberty to tell you that I 
disclaim any right in you either to interrogate or to direct 
me, and desire none of your advice." 

He looked surprized, but affected to laugh it off, saying 
I was a fine spirited boy and he must be better acquainted 
with me, offering his hand, which I coldly accepted, observ- 
ing " I was not exactly the boy he seemed to take me for." 

His first speech had stuck in my stomach, and I resolved 
not to eat another meal in a house of which he was in part 
the owner. Breakfast finished, we went to the Governor's 
residence, where I found my old friend and shipmate, Dick 
Bourchier, already snugly lodged. His uncle received me 
very graciously, and said I must dine there. From the 
Governor's I went to Mr. Dawson's, who directly after 
reading my letters shewed me into a spacious and com- 
modious chamber, which he said was exclusively mine, and 
I must in every respect consider myself as at home. He 
told me he would go with me to dinner, and take me in the 
evening to the governor's garden three miles out of town, 
it being the custom always to sup with the person at whose 
house you dine. The dinner hour being one, the morning 
slipped away before I had delivered half my letters. A 
fine sharp young native, who spoke English, and followed 
me from the beach on my landing, still stuck close, as my 



THE CLERGYMAN AND THE WINE 169 

servant. Him therefore I sent for my baggage with a letter 
to Captain WaddeH thanking him heartily for all his kind- 
nesses to me ; I concluded by declaring my determination 
never more to eat in a house where Captain Richardson 
was proprietor. At dinner I met my worthy Commander, 
when he expressed much concern at my being so seriously 
offended by what Captain Richardson had said, assuring 
me he was a liberal minded man and had no idea of hurting 
my feelings or being uncivil. I was nevertheless so preju- 
diced against him that I never would, although he con- 
descended to make many advances to me afterwards, be 
more than a bowing acquaintance. 

At this our first dinner at the Government house a very 
laughable incident occurred. Amongst the guests was an 
Irish Clergyman named Yates, recently arrived from Europe 
in the Hector, advanced in years, and who appeared to know 
little of mankind or of general manners. This gentleman, 
as a member of the Church and a stranger, was placed at 
table upon the Governor's left hand, Mr. Dawson, from 
etiquette, being on the right. Early in the dinner Mr. 
Bourchier apologized to the Priest for not asking him to 
drink wine, saying that, from indisposition, his Doctor had 
desired him to abstain from wine for a few days. The 
cloth being removed, two glasses were, according to custom, 
put before each person. The Governor then pushed the 
bottles to Mr. Yates, saying, " We always drink the lung, 
sir, and God bless him, as our first toast/' Mr. Yates who 
had not been in the habit of seeing two glasses, took it for 
granted it was also an Indian custom, and filled both, which 
he emptied to the King. This he repeated every round 
the bottles made, to the great entertainment of the company. 
After having so done four or five times, pointing to two 
bumpers which he had just filled, he observed to the gentle- 
man who sat next him, " Upon my conscience this is the 
prettiest custom I ever saw in my life, and I wonder it has 
not been adopted in Ireland." 

Having been at table nearly two hours, the Governor 
gave as a toast, " A good afternoon," the signal for breaking 



170 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

up. The company immediately arose and departed to take 
their afternoon's nap, a custom I did not adopt ; instead 
of it, taking a walk to the Black town, where Rogers, Dr. 
Gowdie, and other officers of the ship resided, and dranl 
tea with them, after which I went home again and dressed 
for the evening. At half past seven Mr. Dawson and I got 
into our palankeens to go to the Governor's gardens, on 
the way passing through a large piece of water of such 
depth that for many yards it was up to the bearers' hips. 
When in the deepest part one of them stumbled, ami had 
very near rolled me out into the stream, which ran rapidly 
towards the sea. 

Arriving at the house, I was much struck by the appear- 
ance of the entrance, beautifully illuminated, up an avenue 
of noble trees to the house. Precisely at nine wo sat down 
to supper, all the Commanders of the Jndiamen being 
present, to whom the Governor gave an account of a 
tremendous hurricane that, had occurred in the preeeding 
month of November, in which recital he mentioned so 
many marvellous circumstances that in my own mind 1 
pronounced him a most abominable liar. Subsequently 
however, I had ocular demonstration that I was unjust in 
forming such an opinion, for I myself saw a ship's long boat 
which, when the storm arose, was laying on the beach, and 
by the force of the wind was blown near three miles inland, 
and there stopped by a plantation of Palmyra and Cocoa nut 
trees. Also, 1 saw in a garden belonging to Mr. Andrew 
Ross a tree of immense magnitude, which bad been torn up 
by the roots, carried several yards, completely overset, and 
pitched upon its brandies, the roots being upward, in which 
position it remained. Mr. Koss had caused a quantity of 
earth to be placed round the branches, under an idea that 
they would take root and new shoots spring from tho old 
root, but he was disappointed ; when I saw it tho whole 
appeared withered and dead. Though then an unbeliever 
as to the power of wind, it afterwards fell to my lot to 
encounter a monsoon hurricane mid to have with me a 
man, as incredulous respecting what wind could do as I 



THE RIPPED BREECHES 171 

was when I heard the Governor's history. At eleven we 
departed. 

The next morning while I was dressing, a man opened 
my room door, and just popping his head in, said, with 
great quickness, " Governor send compliments, deniro 
master's company to dinner to-day," and, without waiting 
a moment, away he darted. This message was daily de- 
livered in a similar manner during my stay at Madras. 

The second day I called upon my whipmatoH, Rider and 
Grant, both living with Alexander Davidson, Esqr., who 
was some years afterwards, for a short period, Governor 
of Madras. I found Rider fencing with a gentleman, Mrs, 
Davidson, then a charming young woman, and two female 
friends, with several men, looking on, when an event 
occurred that must have forced a laugh from the* most 
morose being that ever exited. Rider had, an was then 
usual, upon landing, ordered a parcel of Gingam breechen, 
a pair of which he was fencing in, but the tailor having 
been sparing of cloth, Jacob in making a lunges nplit them, 
as a sailor would say, from " Clew to Earring," Poor 
Rider, ready to sink with ahame, wtood Homo Becoudn 
motionless, then suddenly made the bent of his way out of 
the room. So ridiculous a spectacle I never beheld. Tho 
women were wonderfully well entertained and I thought 
would have gone into litn from laughter at neeiag tlio 
little fat body waddling off. Being invited to diao there, 
at the usual hour 1 went, entering the dining room, 
where a large party, malo and female, were already OH- 
sembled at the same moment with Eider. All behaved 
with decorum, keeping their countenances admirably until 
Mr. 'Davidson, with a very grave face, addressing Rider, 
"hoped no inconvenience had attended the accident of 
the morning." Bach a question proved too much for the 
ladies, and a roar of laughter burst forth, continuing 
several minutes, and I began to think our meal wan sacrificed 
to it. Tho mirth at lant subsiding, wo began to eat, antl 
went on very well, but with occanioual Kmiles and an inter- 
change of arch leers between our lionU'Krf aud her fair guests* 



172 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

After dinner, Captain Elphinstone, of the Triton, who 
had arrived that morning, mentioned the melancholy loss 

of the Chatham, upon which Mr. Davidson assured those 
that supped with the Governor, and appeared to think 
he had exaggerated in his account, that every syllable was 
true. This ship had arrived from Bengal on the 20th of 
October, and was detained by the Government of Madras, 
in order to convey to the Court of Directors an official 
account of the peace then recently concluded with Hyder 
Ali. Captain Morris, who commanded the Chatham, and 
his purser, were the only two persons on shore at the time 
of the tremendous hurricane ; every other soul in her perished. 
The Commander had intended to heave to only, and 
receive the Madras dispatches, it being after the time when 
$hips are forbid to remain upon the coast, which is from 
the 15th of October to the 15th of December, but some 
important documents not being ready, his ship was ordered 
to wait. To secure the insurances therefore, he made a 
formal protest against the parties so detaining him. 

The gale threatened during three days previous to its actual 
commencement, and so awful and terrific was the appearance 
of the sky and sea as to appal the oldest and most experi- 
enced seaman that beheld it from shore. For forty eight 
hours before the storm there was little wind, but the ocean 
more violently agitated than ever had been known. The 
prodigious height and fury of the surf prevented all com- 
munication with the shipping, of which from the then very 
critical state of the Company's affairs there were unhappily 
upwards of twenty of different burthens in the roads, all 
being Country vessels except the Chatham. Every measure 
and every precaution that superior skill and seamanship 
could suggest had been adopted on board the Chatham. 
She had four anchors ahead, was out in thirty five fathoms 
water, at a distance of between seven and eight miles from 
the shore, her top masts, top sail yards, and lower yar$s 
struck, ports chintzed in fore and aft, with a complete crew 
of able seamen on board, the Chief mate being esteemed 
oiie of the best officers in the service. 



A TREMENDOUS HURRICANE 173 

The afternoon previous to the commencement of the gale, 
Captain Morris, by tempting the Catamaran people with a 
sum of money never before offered, prevailed upon five differ- 
ent ones to endeavour to get off to the ship, giving to each Ca- 
tamaran a similar letter to the commanding officer on board, 
and promising a still further gratuity to all, or any, or either 
of them that should effect the delivery, and bring an answer. 
Four of them after the most extraordinary and unparalleled 
exertions failed in their object of passing the outer surf, and 
wholly exhausted, with difficulty regained the boach. The 
fifth, to the infinite surprize of a crowd of spectators that 
with spying glasses were anxiously watching them, suc- 
ceeded, reached the ship, whore he delivered Captain 
Morris's letter, which was requesting tho Chief mate to 
exercise his own judgment as to remaining at anchor or 
otherwise when tho gale should commence, but at all 
events upon certain signals therein specified being made 
from the? Fort, to cut their cables and stand out to sea. 
The Chief mate returned a written answer, saying that from 
the admirable state of tho ship, and the precautions already 
taken, ho had not the least doubt, come what might, of 
her doing well. 

The morning after this exchange of letters, at seven 
o'clock, tho wind suddenly arose to a degree of fury 
thcntoforo unknown by tho oldest inhabitant of Madras, 
accompaaicd by torrente of rain, tho weather dismally dark, 
and so thick that no object could bo distinguished at twenty 
yards distance. It being tho opinion of everybody on shore 
that no cables that ever wore made could hold in such a 
dreadful storm, before eight o'clock tho signal for the 
Chatham, to put to sea was made and repeated every 
quarter of an hour, but tho roaring of the wind fax surpassed 
tho report of tho largest guns, not ono of which was heard 
even by tho vessels close to the surf. Tho gale commenced 
at South West, which is along shore, but soon shifted to 
West North Went, off the land. At olovon a very fine now 
vcHsol, Kotch rigged, seeing all the others that were near 
her founder, and that eho might every moment be expected 



174 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

to share the same fate, as a forlorn hope cut away the main 
and mizen masts, cut their cables also, and ran out to sea 
right before the wind. Towards noon she passed close 
under the stern of the Chatham, then at anchor and labour- 
ing so extremely that the Captain of the ketch expected 
to see her go down head foremost. He described her as 
absolutely standing right on end every pitch she took. 
Although the ketch ran without an inch of canvas, for 
none could have resisted such a tempest, she went at such 
a prodigious rate as in a few minutes to be out of sight of 
the CJialham, and this was the last that ever was seen of 
that unfortunate ship. It was suppOvSed from tho account 
the ketch gave of her that she must have foundered at her 
anchors, but this was mere conjecture, for not a trace of 
her was ever discovered. The part of the roads she had lain 
in was afterwards dragged for many days without finding 
any sign of her. 

The hurricane continued with unremitting violence for 
twenty-four hours, when it suddenly ceased, and tho 
weather cleared up. Not a single vessel was then to 
be seen ; tho whole coast, far as tho eye could reach, 
being strewed with wrecks and dead bodies, in three 
weeks afterwards the ketch returned. Soon after she 
passed the Chatham the sea made such dreadful breaches 
quite over her that they were obliged to cut away the fore- 
mast, and thus stood to the Eastward until they ran out 
of the hurricane. They then lay to for several days, 
preparing Jury masts, which having completed they re- 
turned to Madras. Seven of her crew were washed away 
and lost by one sea that overwhelmed them. About forty 
lascars, or native sailors, belonging to vessels that foundered, 
saved themselves by clinging to masts or yards, and thus 
drifting with the current towards tho shore, avoiding tho 
dreadful break of the surf by occasionally diving below its 
influence, for they are all most expert swimmers. 

Mr. Dawson now told mo he would shew mo an Indian 
garden, and that thenceforward we should sleep every night 
at his country house. He accordingly drove mo in hia 



AN INDIAN GARDEN 175 

phaeton to Choultry plain, an open space about three miles 
from Madras, where I found a dreary looking habitation 
with only a few clumsy chairs and tables in it, so bare indeed 
was it of furniture that I could not disguise my astonish- 
ment, and this led the owner to tell me that during the war 
Hyder Ali's stragglers, or looties as they were called> 
committed such repeated depredations upon all the Euro- 
pean habitations, even to the edge of the works of the Fort, 
that the proprietors removed everything valuable, and he 
added that it was upwards of a twelvemonth since he had 
ventured to sleep- there, for which reason I must be satisfied 
with a couch, no beds being yet put up. 

We dined with Mr. Marriott, who lived within a quarter of a 
mile, who talked much of a melon he had for us after dinner, 
and which proved so watery and tasteless no one in England 
would have given two pence for a dozen such, but that fruit 
was then a great rarity at Madras. In the evening Mr. 
Dawson walked out to shew me his boasted garden. After 
going over what I conceived to be a wild and uncultivated 
piece of ground, with scarcely a blade of grass or the least 
sign of vegetation, he suddenly stopped and asked me what 
I thought of a Madras garden, to which, in perfect simplicity, 
I answered, " I would tell him my opinion when I had seen 
one." This answer he replied to with, " When you see one, 
Sir, why you are now in the middle of mine." The devil 
I am, thought I, then what a precious country am I come 
to, if this is a specimen of a gentleman's garden. 

As there was no use in attempting to disguise my senti- 
ments, I acknowledged that I considered the most barren 
part of Hounslow heath far preferable. ' 

At dusk we returned to Mr. Marriott's, where I was 
stuck down to pagoda (eight shillings) whist, and at ten 
o'clock walked home to our bare walled, melancholy 
looking Chambers. Mine was a large hall, without a single 
article in it except a crazy old couch, upon which lay a 
miserable dirty looking Chinese pillow as hard as the floor 
itself, and no bedding of any sort or kind. This was roughing 
it with a vengeance, and what I was not at all accustomed 



176 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

to. Sleep under such circumstances seemed entirely out 
of the question, for, as if a want of all the usual requisites 
was insufficient, the place was filled by myriads of mos- 
quitos of no small size. I however lay down in my clothes 
upon the rattan, where I tumbled about in a most uneasy 
state about three hours, when I got up and walked up and 
down. In another hour I was surprized to hear Mr. Dawson 
moving. He soon entered my room, asking if I was ready 
to ride, to which, with evident surprize I answered that it 
was the middle of the night. Mr. Dawson with a smile 
observed he had taken his usual allowance of sleep, four 
hours, and that he always was mounted before break of 
day. Of course I made no further opposition, and away 
we went, taking a pleasant ride enough, the day light 
appearing in half an hour after we left the house. 

On our way back, my nag, a handsome Arabian, and as Mr. 
Dawson assured me gentle as a lamb and free from every vice, 
gave a sudden and unexpected bound sideways of several 
yards, an event I was wholly unprepared for. I therefore 
lost my seat and down I came in the middle of the road. 
Although not materially hurt I was a good deal shaken, 
and vexed at my awkwardness, nor was that vexation less- 
ened by seeing the melancholy looking Dawson, with his 
cadaverous countenance, in so violent a fit of laughter that 
I thought he too would have fallen from his horse. Having 
indulged himself in this ill timed mirth he apologized thus, 
" I beg your pardon, Mr. Hickey, but there is to me some- 
thing, so superlatively ridiculous in a man's falling from his 
horse that I never see it without its exciting my risibility," 
and again he burst out laughing. I thought him an im- 
mensely stupid brute, but made no reply. The servants 
having caught my Arab, I once more mounted, resolved 
in future to be more attentive to the pranks of this gentle 
creature without a vice, 



CHAPTER XV 

THE VOYAGE TO CHINA 

MR. DAWSON and I had several conversations upon 
family matters, when he invariably expressed his sur- 
prize that my father should have sent me out as a cadet, 
especially to Madras, where the military line never could 
be an object for a gentleman, that the pay was too con- 
temptible to aSord the common necessaries of life, and 
particularly bad now a peace was made which barred all 
chance of promotion. This subject he so often dwelt upon 
that, tired of his prosing comments, I one day pettishly 
said : 

" Since this is the case, and the prospect according to 
your account so forlorn a one for me, I think I had better 
return to Europe," though when I so said not an idea of the 
kind was in my contemplation. 

Mr. Dawson immediately continued : 

" Upon my word, I think it is the best measure you can 
adopt, and I advise you by all means to go home and let 
your father procure for you a writership in the civil service, 
which with his influence he can have no difficulty to accom- 
plish, and then it may be in my power to serve you." 

This language at once gave me a notion that I might, 
without incurring my father's displeasure, follow Mr. 
Dawson's recommendation. 

I usually went every day into the Fort, and generally 
dined twice a week with the Governor, going to the gardens 
to sleep, where, after the first night, I took care to supply 
myself with bedding and mosquito curtains. One day 
that I dined at Mr. Bourchier's, he congratulated me upon 
IK> longer being a cadet, a commission of Ensign having 
passed the board both for me and his nephew, Richard, 
being the only two cadets of the season that would be 
N 177 



178 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

promoted probably for three years to come. I thanked 
him, but said, " Mr. Dawson advised me to quit the army 
and get transferred to the Civil service," to which Mr. 
Bourchier observed he thought such a change desirable 
and well worthy the going home to obtain. All agog at 
this approval from a quarter where I expected disapproba- 
tion, and delighted with the idea of leaving such an abomin- 
able place as Madras, I directly went to my friend Mr. Rider 
to communicate what had passed, and the resolution I had 
in consequence formed : upon which he (who I had on our 
passage out made acquainted with my little history) in the 
kindest manner endeavoured to dissuade me from adopting 
so foolish and inconsiderate a measure, reminding me in 
nervous language of the immense expence my father had 
been put to in fitting me out, and the disappointment and 
mortification it must be to him. to see me thus inconsiderately 
return. All this I felt myself, yet the idea of again seeing 
England drove poor prudence clear of!, and the most Mr. 
Rider could effect was my promise that I would not hastily 
determine, or resign the service without mature considera- 
tion. 

A week after the above conversation with Mr. Rider, he 
called upon me to say he clearly saw that I greatly disliked 
Madras, but he felt certain that I should be pleased with 
Bengal. He therefore wished me to apply to Mr. Bourchier 
to transfer me to that Establishment, which he could easily 
do by giving me a recommendatory letter to Governor 
Verelst, or to General Richard Smith, the Commander in 
Chief. Such a change I had not the least objection to ; on, 
the contrary, I much liked the thoughts of it, and therefore 
forthwith posted away to the Government house and made 
my request in person. Whereupon Mr. Bourchier assured 
me it was utterly impossible, as he would soon convince 
me, and calling for his private Secretary he desired him to 
bring the general letter, which he observed the Plassey had 
conveyed to India, and from which he read a paragraph 
stating that as 'changes had frequently been made in the 
army from one Presidency to another whereby great 



DESIRES TO LEAVE MADRAS 179 

confusion and difficulties had arisen, the Court of Directors 
did most positively forbid and prohibit any thing of that 
kind in future, upon any pretence whatsoever, and that no 
exchange of officers from one Settlement to another should 
ever be permitted without an express order from the Court. 

This regulation carried out in the same ship in which I 
went, I conceived decisive. I however mentioned it to 
Rider, who persevered in urging me to go round to Bengal 
with him, where he was certain from his own personal 
influence he should be able to procure for me upon that 
Establishment the same military rank I had obtained at 
Madras. He then recommended me to ask Mr. Bourchier 
to let me retain the Ensigncy and go to Bengal upon leave 
of absence, also to inform him that I made this application 
at his (Rider's) desire. I did so, but the Governor said 
it could not be done, that all he could do he would, which 
was not only to allow me to go to Bengal, but give me letters 
to some friends of his in that Settlement who might be able 
to promote my views. He added that he thought it incum- 
bent upon him to tell me, in his opinion, I was very wrong 
to leave Madras, that I ought to bear in recollection that 
even if I succeeded in getting the same rank in the army of 
Bengal, I should always be liable to be recalled if the Court 
of Directors ever discovered the circumstance, and in such 
case they would beyond a doubt dismiss me from their 
service altogether. This possibility of a recall, even when 
I might have attained a rank of importance as an officer 
seriously alarmed me, and upon further deliberation I 
resolved to return to England, Having communicated 
such my final determination to Mr. Dawson he promised 
to write to my father and say I had so done in pursuance 
of his advice, and tiiat he thought it the best step I could 
take. 

Within the space of ten days after the Plassey reached 
Madras, the whole of the fleet that left the Downs with her, 
bound to the same place, came in. This brought so great 
and sudden a supply of European articles as to overstock 
the market, and in consequence there were no purchasers 



180 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

for many of the investments. The Commanders and 
officers were therefore under the disagreeable necessity of 
disposing of what they had at a loss of forty per cent upon 
the prime cost of the goods in England, and several at 
even a still greater discount. Glassware in particular, of 
which there was an immense quantity from that article 
having been much wanted the year before, sold at a loss of 
sixty per cent. My acquaintance, Mr. Douglas, had up- 
wards of one thousand pounds' sterling in different sorts of 
glass, yet by a conduct and management peculiar I believe 
to himself instead, like his unfortunate brother officers, of 
sustaining so calamitous and ruinous a loss, he actually 
made upon his whole investment a profit of twenty-five 
per cent, and he effected it thus He was, as I have already 
mentioned, a very gay and dressy man, had at least half a 
dozen suits of rich laced clothes, with bag, solitaire and 
sword, his hair dressed in the latest Parisian style with three 
tiers' of curls. He was perfectly au fait at small talk, would, 
if necessary or through a paucity of men, dance four or five 
minuets of an evening, and was in every respect what was 
called, "a woman's man." Douglas, though in the midst of 
dissipation, or going down a Country dance with a lively 
girl for his partner, never lost sight of the main chance, and 
constantly had an eye to business. He woiild by the most 
fulsome and bare faced flattery first talk his partner into 
high good humour, and having effected that much, he then 
pulled from his pocket and presented to her, " the terms of 
a raffle," or, " scheme of a lottery for a quantity of beautiful 
glass ware," sometimes with both, saying she must not only 
fix her own signature but also procure the names of her 
friends, male and female, and this conduct, mean and con- 
temptible as it was, fully answered his purpose to the extent 
above mentioned. 

Captain Waddell, having heard of my intention of re- 
turning to Europe, very kindly sent his purser, Mr. Jones 
to me to say he should be happy to have the pleasure of my 
company on board the Plassey, and although he was bound 
to China first, I probably should not meet with any oppor- 



THE MADMAN AND THE HAT 181 

trinity of reaching England earlier than his ship would be 
there. I therefore thankfully accepted his friendly offer, 
and two days after I had done so the Company's ship 
Thames, Captain Haggis, arrived in the roads from Bengal, 
on her way towards Europe. Such an opportunity I thought 
ought not to be lost, and I applied to the Commander, a 
strange, rough sort of a tarpaulin, to ask his price, to which 
he answered he believed he might be able to spare me a 
small cabin in his steerage for three hundred guineas. 
Our treaty instantly ceased, and I made up my mind to take 
a peep at the Chinese. 

On the 4th of June, being His Majesty's birthday, I 
went with the rest of the Settlement to an entertainment 
given at the Government house in honour of the festival. 
At the supper table chance placed me next to an odd looking 
elderly man, who eyed me with peculiar archness, and 
seemed particularly struck with my Nivernois hat. He 
spoke not, but looked at me with great earnestness. At 
length he suddenly snatched my hat from my lap and placing 
it upon the point of a walking stick, held it up in the middle 
of the table. This naturally attracted the attention of the 
company, the novelty of the exhibition exciting a general 
burst of laughter, for at that period immensely large hats 
were worn at Madras. Dick Bourchier, who sat near me, 
having ascertained who the person was, whispered me not 
to take any notice of what he did for that he was insane, 
and had been so many years, but being perfectly inoffensive 
and harmless he was received every where with the utmost 
attention. He had formerly been a Captain of Artillery in 
the Company's service, and lost his senses in consequence 
of a fever brought on from severe sufferings during an 
arduous campaign. At the time he was thus afflicted he 
had not saved a rupee ; the Company therefore allowed 
him a pension upon which he lived, apparently happy and 
contented. His common habit was reserved and shy, 
seldom speaking to any one unless first spoken to, and at no 
time ever shewing the smallest degree of ill-nature or 
violence. The new and whimsical form of my hat, so unlike 



182 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

the then prevailing fashion, seemed to tickle his fancy 
excessively. Finding this to be the case, I very civilly said 
that as he admired the hat it was very much at his service, 
and he would do me a favour by accepting it. He seemed 
pleased, bowed gracefully enough, and taking the proffered 
hat, once more fixed it at the end of his cane, holding it up 
as before, and laughing himself immoderately, and in a few 
minutes afterwards getting up from table, saluted the 
company and marched out of the room with his acquisition. 

During my sojourn at Madras 3 I was often obliged to 
play whist, my host, Mr. Dawson, not having a party without 
me. Mr. Whittle, vulgarly called " Black Jack," who 
afterwards became Governor of Madras, usually made one 
of the set, and chance gave him me for a partner several 
times. As I knew nothing of the game, we frequently lost 
rubbers that with the cards I held ought to have been won. 
This offended Mr. Whittle, who gave me a number of lectures 
relative to the mode of playing particular hands, but finding 
I did not profit by his instructions, he one evening in the 
middle of a game laid down his cards and, taking out his 
purse, paid the amount of the stake to his adversary, at 
the same time addressing me with " You, Mr. Hickey, are, 
I believe, a very good sort of young man, but by God you 
are by no means calculated to sit down at a whist table, so 
take my advice, and never in future attempt to do it." 

Mr. Dawson took me several times to the Mount, a 
beautiful place about eight miles from Madras. It was a 
large and verdant plain whereon a number of gentlemen's 
Country houses were erected, the whole of them commanding 
an extensive view of the sea and shipping in the roads. 
On one side of the spacious flat was a small mountain upon 
which a monastery stood, an ancient building erected by, 
and belonging to, the Portuguese. Every one of the build- 
ings had been defaced and spoliated by the enemy, Hyder's 
irregular cavalry having forced out even the door and 
window frames to burn and cook their victuals. 

Early in the month of June the Lord Holland,, East India- 
man, commanded by Captain Nairn, arrived from Europe 



A TRAGIC DISCOVERY 183 

crowded with Bengal passengers. After staying ten days 
she sailed for Calcutta. My friends Eider and Grant were 
desirous of embarking on her, and would have done so had 
there been a spot for them to hang their cots in, which 
luckily for them there was not. On her way from Balasore 
roads to the river Hooghley the pilot ran her upon one of the 
numerous sands which fill that wild part of the ocean, and 
she was totally lost. 

The latter end of June Captain Waddell told me I must 
prepare for departure, as he intended to sail in less than a 
week. I therefore went round to take leave of a numerous 
set of acquaintances I had made during my residence at 
Fort St. George, from many of whom I had received marks 
of great civility and kindness. 

The last time that I went to sleep at Mr. Dawson's 
garden he told me he would the next morning shew me 
a pretty place about ten miles to the northward, belong- 
ing to a friend of his with whom we should spend the day 
and ride home in the cool of the evening, and that I 
should eat as fine and high flavoured oysters as ever I 
tasted in Europe. We accordingly mounted our horses 
before day break, and rode gently to the place, going the 
last four miles along the sand at the very edge of the sea, 
and enjoying a most refreshing breeze which blew upon us 
direct from the ocean. 

Upon coming up to the door of the house, we dis- 
mounted, but not a soul appeared to receive us. Mr. 
Dawson, much surprized, conducted me into the hall, 
and loudly called, " Holloa, Boy, Boy ! " the usual man- 
ner of summoning servants at Madras. After repeating 
this several times without any effect, he said to me, 
"This is very singular, nor can I account for it." He 
then proceeded to his friend's bed chamber, from whence 
I heard him exclaim, " Good God, poor Stone (or Stone- 
house, I forget which) is dead," and again joining me he 
told me he was laying upon the bed a corpse. After again 
calling in vain, we walked to a sort of lodge or farm belonging 
to the deceased, where we found several of the servants, 



184 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

who upon seeing us burst into violent lamentations. In a 
short time one of them informed Mr. Dawson that his 
master's 'horse had been taken to the door, as usual, at day 
light. The sun rising and he not coming out, his head man 
knocked at his room door, but, not receiving any answer, 
he opened it and entered, where he saw his master laying 
upon his bed, and approaching nearer, observed his mouth 
and eyes wide open, that, taking him by the hand, he found 
it clammy and cold, extremely terrified at which he ran out 
and called his fellow servants, who returned to the room 
with him, but the moment they saw their master was dead 
they all ran away to the place we found them in, where they 
had been shut up above an hour. 

Instead, therefore, of the cheerful, pleasant day we had 
expected, Mr. Dawson was employed some hours arranging 
matters for the funeral. He sent a man on horseback for 
a Doctor who lived about three miles off, and who came 
immediately. Upon examining the body he said nothing 
could be done, that a change had 'actually taken place, 
from which he supposed he must have been seized with 
apoplexy soon after laying down. At three o'clock in 
the afternoon we set out on our return home, greatly 
shocked at the melancholy occurrence, at least, I was, 
for I certainly thought Mr. Dawson betrayed an indiffer- 
ence that did him no credit in my eyes, and treated this 
sudden death quite as a thing of course, and of no im- 
portance. 

Another extraordinary circumstance happened the ensuing 
day. I went into the Black Town for the purpose of visiting 
the Plassetfs officers, where I found the house in the utmost 
confusion, and seeing a number of persons in one of the 
rooms, I also entered, and saw they were gathered round a 
body weltering in blood upon the floor. Rogers, who was 
present, informed me it was our shipmate, old Forbes, who 
a few minutes before had cut his throat, and so effectually 
that he was already dead. He had been in a low and 
desponding way for a month, often grievously weeping and 
exclaiming what a miserable wretch he was, and that when 



PREPARATIONS FOR CHINA 185 

the Plassey should sail from Madras he should be left 
destitute and without a single friend in the world. Upon 
our first arrival he hired a small house in the Black Town, 
where he lived entirely by himself, until Gowdie and Rogers, 
seeing how unhappy the poor creature was, kindly received 
and fed him, whereupon he recovered his health and spirits, 
but as the time approached when he must be deprived of 
their society, he again flagged, and fell into despondence, 
which led him to put an end to his life with a razor. 

During my stay at Madras a young gentleman came out 
from England very strongly recommended to Mr. Dawson, 
in consequence of which he resided in his house. His name 
Hall Plumer ; (brother to Sir Thomas Plumer, the present 
Solicitor General, since appointed Vice Chancellor of 
England) he was a writer upon the Madras establishment, 
and we became sworn friends. I shall say more of him 
hereafter. 

On the 6th of July, Mr. Chisholme brought a remarkably 
fine looking young man about eighteen years of age, whom 
he introduced by the name of McClintock, saying he would 
be a fellow passenger of mine to China, where he was going 
for the recovery of his health. He had only been three years 
in India, unfortunately getting a serious illness upwards 
of a year before I saw him. It had reduced him to so low 
a state and brought on so many alarming symptoms that 
the medical gentlemen advised his trying the effect of 
change of air and passing some months at Canton, where the 
winter was sharp and cold. Chisholme, who knew his 
connexions, was much interested about him, and had asked 
Captain Waddell to give him a passage, a request that was 
granted in the handsomest manner, and half the Round house 
allotted to his use. " Now," said Chisholme, " as you two 
are much alike in disposition I think it would be a pleasant 
thing to both to be together, each of your apartments being 
sufficiently spacious to accommodate two, so if you approve 
of my suggestion, do you ; Hickey, go up to the Round 
house, or let McClintock come down to your half of the 
great cabin. I should conceive the latter the best." I 



186 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

readily acceded, and we agreed to swing our cots below. 
I had reason to be highly satisfied with my companion, for 
during nine subsequent months that we were inseparable I 
never once heard an angry or illnatured word pass his lips, 
so placid and fine a tempered lad I never met with ; he 
jvas also unusually accomplished and an excellent scholar. 

On the 7th (July) I received notice that the ship would 
sail the following day and Captain Waddell, with his 
accustomed kind attention, offered to take me off with him 
at one o'clock in the afternoon, but the same evening 
Chisholme and McClintock called to say they intended 
going off soon after sun rise, at which time the surf never 
was so high as when the day was further advanced, and Chis- 
holme pressing me to join them, I consented and wrote a note 
to tell my Commander. Before sun rise the next morning 
I was upon the beach and saw a prodigious surf. The boat 
people nevertheless assured us there was not the least danger, 
and we embarked, taking the precaution to engage several 
of the largest Catamarans to attend and stick close to us. 
We passed the first surf tolerably well, only getting a little 
spray of the sea over us. We then remained stationary at 
least half an hour before they attempted the second, though 
five or six times not a yard from the tremendous curl and 
break of the wave, which to say the truth occasioned me 
serious alarm, but I had the miserable consolation of seeing 
Chisholme still more frightened than myself, and he every 
moment called to the people of the Catamarans to keep 
nearer to us, promising them as well as our boat's crew, 
adequate compensation if they carried us safely through. 

McClintock and I sat quite still without saying a word, but 
I am free to confess I was not sorry to hear Chisholme ex- 
horting those about us to exert themselves and be careful. 
We then passed the second surf without receiving a drop of 
water, and in like manner the third. Doubtless it is truly 
terrific to behold a prodigious swell of the sea solemnly and 
regularly approaching the boat as if it was determined to 
overwhelm you in its surge, and actually breaking into one 
horrible foam close to the boat's nose, or equally near its 



THE USE OF THE CATAMARAN 187 

stern, destruction thus staring you in the face. The people 
of the Masulah boats are however so clever, and by long 
experience know so well, in fact to a foot, where the break 
of the surf will happen, that they run to the very edge 
without encountering it. Accidents do sometimes occur 
from various causes, in which cases the boat either fills and 
sinks, or turns broadside to the surf and is inevitably over- 
set, in both which dilemmas you have no chance of salvation 
except from your own skill in swimming, or being picked up by 
the Catamarans. Going towards the shore is not attended 
with the same degree of risk because you are pursuing the 
same course as the surf does, whereas in going off you meet 
the enemy directly in your teeth. The boat people watch 
between the surfs until they see it has broken three or 
four times heavily in the same place, then make a dart 
and pull over the swell ere it has renewed its strength so 
as to break. We all three felt happy when we were fairly 
over it, and we had the satisfaction to see that our boat 
was better managed than two others that put off at the 
same time we did, both continuing between the first and 
second surfs until long after we passed the outer one. Of 
course we kept the promise Chisholme had made, and 
liberally rewarded the Masulah and Catamaran people. 

We reached the ship a little after eight o'clock in tne 
morning. At two in the afternoon our good Captain came 
on board in the "accommodation" boat, as it is called, which 
belongs to Government, and is always lent to persons of rank 
and consequence. Formerly it was sometimes lent to Com- 
manders of Indiamon, when they were treated with more 
attention and respect than of late. The seats of this boat arc 
broader and lower than the common Masulahs, a larger com- 
plement of rowers who are decently clothed, and in every res- 
pect bettor fitted up, though perhaps not a bit safer. Indeed, 
I have understood she has oftener met with accidents than 
any other. A very serious one occurred lately, in which 
the Colonel of Do Meuron's German regiment, with a child 
and two servants, going off to a ship in which they were to 
have proceeded to Europe, all perished, the boat being 



188 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

overset in the outer surf. Captain Waddell came on board 
completely wet from the boat's having twice filled in un- 
successful attempts to pass the second surf. The last time 
lie told us he was so convinced she must go down that he 
was just preparing to strike out and depend upon his 
swimming, when the helmsman begged him to sit where he 
was and he would carry him through. Luckily he was able 
to keep his word, 

With the Captain there came off a little weazen faced, 
elderly Armenian, who was going upon some mercantile 
business to China, and upon entering the ship seemed 
scared out of his wits. 

Immediately after our commander came on board we got 
under way, as did five other of the ships bound to China, 
not one of which, except the Triton, could sail with the 
Plassey. We had a pleasant breeze, and after running 
about five leagues, the objects on shore diminishing fast, 
a sailor at the main top gallant mast head called out that 
a Catamaran was following us, one of the people waving a 
cloth. We thereupon hove to, and soon saw her with our 
spying glasses. In an hour and a half she reached us and 
delivered a letter from the Governor containing another 
for the chief supercargo at Canton. Captain Waddell 
having written a receipt for this packet at the particular 
request of the man who delivered it, asked him why he had 
not given it to one of the ships astern, by which he would 
have saved three or more leagues hard work, to which 
the man answered, " How could I possibly do that when my 
orders were to deliver it to the Captain of the Plassey" an 
obedience and attention to orders that I am afraid few 
Europeans under similar circumstances would have ob- 
served. Captain Waddell made the poor creatures very 
happy by a present of some ship biscuit, which the natives 
of Coromandel are particularly fond of, and a couple of 
bottles of rum, with which in high glee they left the ship, 
assuring us they should regain the shore soon after dark. 
By this Catamaran I wrote to my friend Eider and Mr. 
Dawson, the man undertaking to deliver them, for which I 



THE MONTPELIER OF INDIA 189 

gave him a pagoda to Ms great surprize and joy. These 
honest creatures may always be depended upon faithfully 
to execute whatever they undertake if practicable. Having 
dispatched the Catamaran we once more made sail. 

The fifth day we saw Pulo Penang, at the mouth of the 
Straits of Malacca, at that time uninhabited, but where the 
East India Company long since formed a colony, now in 
a flourishing state, having docks constructed in the har- 
bour of sufficient dimensions to receive and repair ships of 
the line, and where several capital vessels have been built. 
Its name has been changed to Prince of Wales's Island. 
It was long considered the Montpelier of India, and in- 
valids from every quarter were sent there for recovery of 
health, but during the last four years it has in some measure 
lost its reputation for salubrity, numbers of the inhabitants 
having died, amongst whom were Mr. Dundas, the Gover- 
nor, and his lady, the latter not actually dying upon the 
Island, as she was sent to Bengal with a hope of saving 
her, but she survived her arrival in Calcutta only three or 
four days. 

Mr. Oliphant, first in Council, the Chief Surgeon, and 
many other gentlemen of inferior rank also fell sacrifices 
to the disorder prevalent that season. The fate of Mr. 
Grey, the second in Council, was peculiarly hard. Having 
been attacked by the malady that proved fatal to so many, 
he was induced to accept the offer of a passage to Europe 
in the Blenheim, Admiral Sir Thomas Troubridge's flag 
ship, and in which the Admiral himself was about to return 
home, notwithstanding the Captain and every officer 
belonging to her pronounced her unfit for such a voyage, 
and that if they met with any bad weather she must go to 
the bottom. Sir Thomas was obstinate in his determination, 
at the same time telling his Captain and officers he did not 
insist upon their keeping their stations, and that all, or 
any of them, were at full liberty to quit the Blenheim. The 
Captain answered he certainly considered the embarking in 
her desperate, yet as he (the admiral) chose to risk his life, 
he (the Captain) thought it his duty to keep the command 



190 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

whatever the consequence might be to himself. The 
Lieutenants, actuated by the same mistaken spirit, gave 
similar answers to the Captain. Mr. Grey, although knowing 
the general opinion held respecting the ship, and who was 
himself an admirable seaman, having commanded the 
Phoenix and Rose East Indiamen several voyages, yet he 
too ventured to go in her, taking his wife, a beautiful young 
woman, to whom he had been but a short time married, 
with him. The event justified what the captain and 
officers thought of her condition. On the voyage home she 
foundered, and every soul on board perished. Thus were 
near seven hundred lives sacrificed to the inflexible obsti- 
nacy of an individual. 

The great change in the healthiness of Prince of Wales's 
Island created general surprize, and various conjectures were 
made as to the cause of it, one of which was that the chief 
spring that supplied the inhabitants with drinking water 
had been suddenly impregnated with a noxious and poison- 
ous vegetable over which the stream ran in the way from 
its source, but this idea never was satisfactorily established. 

We ran through part of the Straits of Malacca with 
delightful weather and smooth water, in company with the 
Triton, for whom however we had daily been obliged to 
shorten sail several hours, until we reached the Dutch 
settlement of Malacca, where the two commanders agreed 
to stop and fill their water casks, having left Madras rather 
short supplied with that requisite article owing to the surf 
being high several days previous to our leaving it. We 
accordingly came to an anchor and immediately went on 
shore to a neat, pretty looking town, in which we fixed 
our abode at a tavern close to the sea, the room in which 
we sat commanding a view of the Eoads and shipping. 
Captain Elphinstone joined our party, who, being a most 
gentlemanlike and pleasing man, proved a great acquisition. 
We likewise had his first officer, Mr. Parsloe, with us, a 
coxcomb of the superlative degree, who afforded us consider- 
able entertainment from an extraordinary propensity to the 
marvellous, or, in plain terms, lying. Our table fare was 



THE DANGEROUS MALAYS 191 

very tolerable, the fish and poultry excellent, but marred 
in their cooking, every thing swimming in oil ; the fruits 
delicious, one especially so, the mangosteen, which I thought 
the most exquisite I ever tasted any where. The flavour 
although sweet and rich is extremely delicate, and any 
quantity of it might be eaten without risk of injuring the 
health. Captain Elphinstone was at them morning, noon, 
and night, the whole time lamenting he had so short a 
period to enjoy them, for it is impossible to keep them 
long ; even on shore they spoil in twenty four hours after 
being gathered. 

When we were leaving the ship Rogers cautioned me 
respecting the women, saying, " Take care of yourself, Bill, 
the Malays are a dangerous and revengeful people, and you 
who are by nature of an amorous disposition, you will be 
looking after the girls, in which case should any of the men 
discover you, certainly you will have one of their creeses 
up to the hilt in your guts." As he said this with great 
gravity, and I was utterly ignorant of the habits or preju- 
dices of the people I was going amongst, I resolved to 
keep clear of all amours, and have as little as possible to do 
with the Malays. 

There being no bedchambers for guests at the tavern, 
sleeping apartments were engaged and prepared for us 
at other houses. McClintock and I agreed to keep to- 
gether, but were not able so to do from there not being 
a room with two beds in it. After supper we retired 
to our respective chambers. Mine was a large one level 
with the street, into which it looked, having a decent 
bed and furniture. Dismissing the servant who attended 
me to it, I examined the windows, which I found well 
secured by strong iron bars. I then locked the door inside, 
undressed and laid down, as I conceived in perfect security. 
Notwithstanding the intense heat which instantly threw 
me into a profuse perspiration, the violent exercise I had 
taken in the day so fatigued me that I soon fell into a deep 
sleep, from which I was suddenly awakened by some 
person's shaking me. Greatly alarmed, I bounced up, nor 



192 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

was my terror diminished when I saw by the light of the 
moon that shone in the room a Malay man, almost naked, 
leaning over me at the bed side. I cried out "Who is 
there ? Who are you ? What do you want ? " to which 
he answered in broken English "Master caree (want) 
piccaninee girl, I catch bring here. Master not holloa, not 
frighten." Much relieved at hearing such to be the object 
of his unwelcome visit, I quickly replied, " No, no, I thank 
you I am too much tired." 

The man upon my repeated negative said, " Den me go, 
Master. Salaam, Master," and to my inexpressible astonish- 
ment instantly made his exit by jumping out at the window 
I had imagined so well secured. The moment he was out 
I rose to examine how this could have happened, and then 
discovered that one of the bars was without either nail 
or screw at the bottom, and altogether so loose that it 
could be pushed sufficiently on one side to admit a man to 
pass through. 

While I was busily employed about these bars, I heard a 
sort of stifled laugh near at hand in the street, upon which 
I began to suspect some trick. After watching near an 
hour without further noise or interruption I laid down in 
my clothes, for I had dressed myself when the fellow dis- 
appeared, hoping to get a little rest, but all my endeavours 
were in vain. I therefore lay sweating until daylight and 
then walked out into the town. 

At breakfast I found from the whispering and laughing 
of the party that a plan had been made to frighten me, 
which object had certainly been accomplished. Mr. Parsloe, 
with a broad grin, hoped I had rested well, and had pleasant 
dreams. Rogers afterwards told me the scheme was suggested 
by Parsloe, but they had no notion that in such a dreadful 
heat I should soon have got to sleep, for had they, they 
would not have disturbed me. 

The Malay man they had employed was a servant at the 
tavern, and the very best pimp in the place, which qualifica- 
tion I benefited by the next night. Rogers, I learned (from 
himself) had taken the trouble of going with a carpenter in 



HOW A JOKE WAS PLAYED 198 

the afternoon, to take out the fastenings from the bar of 
the window for the man to enter at. 

The morning after we anchored we saw the other ships 
that left Madras at the same time we did, pass in the 
offing. 



CHAPTER XVI 

CANTON 

A ITEE spending four days very agreeably at Malacca, 
jLjL where we found much to see and entertain us, we re- 
turned to the Plassey and proceeded on our way to China, 
still accompanied by the Triton, but the additional water she 
had taken in so altered her sailing for the worse that on the 
second day we ran away and left her. Having cleared the 
Straits, our daily conversation was the probability of en- 
countering a Tuffoon, or violent gale of wind so called, 
frequently happening in the China Seas towards the latter 
part of the year. Captain Waddell, in jocularity, used 
to desire me to keep a good look out of an evening, and if 
the sun set, as seamen phrase it, angrily, casting a copper 
tint all over the sky, attended with a thick heavy atmo- 
sphere, we might expect a puff in a few hours. Four days 
after the captain had mentioned these symptoms to me, 
I was sure from his conversation with the officers at break- 
fast, and the orders he gave, that he expected bad weather. 
It was then blowing fresh, and by the hour of dinner the 
wind so increased that the top sails were close reefed. 

The sun that evening did set as he had described, the 
appearance being quite horrible ; the thick and heavy 
clouds were of a dismal deep orange colour and the sea 
became extremely agitated. The top gallant masts and 
yards were lowered upon deck and every preparation made 
for encountering a tempest. By eight in the evening it 
blew so tremendously that every sail was taken in and we 
ran under bare poles. At nine, in an instant, the wind shifted 
almost to the opposite point. So sudden and violent was it 
that had a single yard of cativas been out the consequences 
might have been serious. As it was, we immediately hove 
to. We lay tumbling about sadly, and had a dismal night, 

194 



THE TRIAL OF THE PLASSEY 195 

shipping heavy seas, which swept away every thing they 
came against. The gale was accompanied by excessively 
vivid lightning and thunder as if the artillery of the world 
had all been discharged at once. This was the first storm 
I had ever been in, and greatly did the effects of it sur- 
prize me. The Plassey was one of the best sea boats that 
ever swam, behaving, as the seamen said, wonderfully well, 
yet the motion was so quick and violent that every timber 
and plank seemed to shake. All attempts to keep my legs 
being useless, I retired to my cot, which every moment 
struck the deck on one side or the other. Day light made 
no favourable change. About eleven in the morning 1 got 
up, and being young and active I managed to got upon 
deck, where the grandeur of the scene, terrific as it was, 
greatly surprized me. I fastened myself with a rope upon 
the quarter deck by the advice of the Doctor, who had 
scarcely given it when the ship, taking a deep and desperate 
lee lurch, he lost his hold, and away he flew like a shot to 
leeward, falling with great force against the ship's side, 
his head striking within two inches of the aftermost port 
out of which every body upon deck thought ho must have 
gone. He had a narrow escape from a watery grave, and 
was dreadfully bruised from the violence of tho fall. 

Our cargo from Madras being cotton, the ship was so crank 
that she sometimes lay for half an hour at a time in a manner 
water logged, her gunwale being completely enveloped 
in the sea, so that I frequently thought she never would 
right again. Tho gale continued all the second day and 
night, but towards morning of tho third moderated and 
soon after fell calm. The sea being enormously high and 
confused, the ship rolled and pitched to such a degree that 
the masts were every moment expected to go over her side. 
So serious a disaster fortunately for us did not happen, and 
after several hours terrible tumbling about in all directions, 
a fresh breeze and from the right quarter, sprung up ; 
we made sail, which steadied the ship, and tho following 
day saw the Grand Ladrones, a cluster of Islands oil the 
coa&t of China. 



196 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Severe as the storm had been, we did not start a rope 
yarn nor receive the slightest damage in any way. I never 
saw a creature so terrified as the poor devil of an Armenian. 
In the height of the gale he frequently asked me what was 
to become of us, and what I would advise him to do. Vexed 
at his absurd question, and the childishness of his behaviour, 
I answered, " I recommend you to grin and bear it," (an 
expression used by sailors after a long continuance of bad 
weather). Not at all understanding my meaning, he soon 
after addressed Chisholme, requesting an explanation. 
Unluckily for him Mr. Chisholme was out of temper, and 
damning his blood for a stupid old brute, bid him go to 
hell, at the same time giving him a push that drove him 
several yards, and down he fell flat on his back. He raised 
himself as well as he could, crawled to his cabin, and we 
saw no more of him until the ship was safe at an anchor. 

As we approached the land, the wind moderated, the 
weather became clear, and the sea subsided. In a few hours 
a small vessel came along side from which we got a Chinese 
pilot, who conducted the ship through the Bogue, a narrow 
channel or inlet from the ocean to the river, not near half a 
mile broad, with a fort upon each side, which passed the 
river spreads to a gteat width, and appears covered with 
boats of diSerent sizes. 

Our sea pilot having taken the ship into Macao roads, 
we there anchored to wait the arrival of a river pilot, 
and were told we had no chance of one until the following 
day. I therefore after dinner went on shore to this miserable 
place, where there is a wretched ill constructed fort belong- 
ing to the Portuguese, in which I saw a few sallow faced, 
half naked, and apparently half starved creatures in old 
tattered coats that had once been blue, carrying muskets 
upon their shoulders, which, like the other accoutrements, 
were of a piece with their dress. These wretches were 
honoured with the title of " soldiers." Not only the men, 
but every thing around bespoke the acme of poverty and 
misery. Satisfied with what I had seen, and nothing 
tempted by a printed board indicating the house upon which 



WHAMPOA 19T 

it was fixed to be " The British Hotel " where was to be 
found "elegant entertainment and comfortable lodging," 
I did not even take a look within, but walked as fast as my 
legs could carry me to the sea side, where McClintoek, as 
disgusted as myself with Macao, had procured a boat, in 
which we returned to our own really comfortable apartment 
on board the Plassey. Whilst on shore we learnt that none 
of the other ships had yet entered the river, but that there 
were several direct from England then laying at Whampoa. 

In the afternoon of the next day, having procured a 
pilot, we proceeded upwards, and in thirty hours were 
safely moored at Whampoa, having in the passage passed two 
bars, or banks of sand, which, when the tide was out, had 
only seven feet upon them. We arrived at our moorings on 
the llth of August, having been only thirty three days from 
Madras, which was the shortest voyage that had then ever 
been made by an East Indiaman. We found at anchor 
five English ships, four Swedes, six French, four Danes, 
and three Dutch, all the foreigners being of the immense 
burthen of from twelve to fifteen hundred tons. 

Whampoa is pleasantly situated, having two islands close 
to the ships, one called Deans, upon which each ship 
erects what is called a " bankshall," being a lightly con- 
structed wooden building from sixty to one hundred feet 
in length, into which the upper masts, yards, spars, sails, 
rigging and stores are deposited, and, previous to being 
re-embarked, are all repaired and put into order. The other 
is called French Island, where the officers and sailors walk, or 
amuse themselves at different games for exercise and pastime. 
Upon French Island all the Europeans who die are buried. 

The morning after we reached Whampoa, which we got to 
at dusk, I was awakened at sun rise by the sound of music 
appearing to come from different directions, the effect being 
delightful. Looking out of the Quarter gallery window, I 
saw that each of the foreign ships had an excellent band, 
consisting of every description of wind and martial instru- 
ments, the whole striking up the moment the sun appeared 
above the horizon, continuing to play for an hour. The 



198 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

same thing was done in the evening, an hour previous to sun 
set. I never heard any thing that pleased me more. 

After breakfast, the Captain's barge being made ready, 
with jack, ensign, and pennant flying, the crew all in clean 
white shirts, and black caps, Captain Waddell, Mr. McClin- 
took, the Armenian, and myself got into it, and the men 
pulled away for Canton, distant from Whampoa about 
eighteen miles. The heat of the sun was intense, and I felt 
much for the rowers. On the way two Chinese buildings were 
pointed out to us as Hoppo, or Custom houses, at both which 
all boats, except those belonging to the commanders of 
European ships, which in compliment to their flag are ex- 
empted, are obliged to stop and undergo a strict search or 
examination by a petty mandarin, like our Custom house 
officers, to ascertain that there is nothing contraband on 
board. We were also shewn, when nearly half way, a small 
inlet or creek called " Lob Lob Creek," from whence in 
"sampans" (the name of the country boats) came forth 
certain women, who, if required so to do, board the 
boats. The females who ply at Lob Lob Creek are 
supposed so to do by stealth. I say supposed, because the 
fact is that they pay a proportion of their earnings to the 
mandarin upon duty, who thereupon, like an upright 
administrator of justice, shuts his eyes and his ears to the 
breach of the law, those public officers being invariably cor- 
rupt. In fact, there is scarce any offence or crime, murder 
not excepted, that the perpetrator may not free himself 
from punishment for by paying a certain sum, according 
to the nature or degree of enormity of his offence. Money 
seems to be the idol they all worship. 

We arrived at Canton about noon. The view of the city 
as you approach it is strikingly grand, and at the same 
time picturesque. The magnitude and novelty of the 
architecture must always surprize strangers. The scene 
upon the water is as busy a one as the Thames below 
London Bridge, with this difference, that instead of our 
square rigged vessels of different dimensions, you there 
have junks, which, in the middle of the fair weather 



THE CHINESE JUNKS 199 

season they navigate all along the coast of China, 
and even to the Straits of Malacca, yet never go out of 
sight of land, and for this plain reason they are wholly 
ignorant of navigation and all its advantages. A junk is 
so constructed that one would be led to suppose the in- 
ventor's principal object had been to deter mankind from 
venturing upon salt water. Their shape lengthways is rather 
more than a semicircle, each end being many feet higher than 
the centre. At the stern there is a recess angular wise several 
feet in depth, of no possible use, and it looks as if it was 
intended to give every sea that strikes her abaft a fair chance 
of splitting the unwieldy machine in two. Upon each bow 
is painted an enormous eye, and if enquiry is made what they 
are for, the answer is, "Hi yaw, no have eyes, how can 
see." They draw but little water, seldom more than five 
feet when loaded, have only one mast, with a slight bamboo, 
occasionally, used as a top mast. Their sails are made of 
reeds, looking much like a mat, and answer the intended 
purpose very well, at least in the hands of Chinamen. In 
smooth water and before the wind they sail tolerably, but 
make sad work against an adverse wind or high sea. Being 
bigoted to every thing that has been handed down from 
their ancestors, there is no prevailing upon them to attempt 
improvement in any way. If shewn how deficient they are 
in many respects, and how greatly they might benefit by 
adopting European practice in arts and manufactures, they 
without hesitation admit our superiority with the utmost 
sang froid, adding in favour of their own habits, cc Truly this 
have China custom." 

It is reported that the captain of a Country trading 
ship had, many years ago, influence enough over the 
commander of a junk, to prevail on him to learn 
sufficient of navigation to justify his leaving the land 
entirely, and having surmounted that prejudice, he sup- 
plied a compass and quadrant, teaching his pupil the use 
of both, and further became principal owner of a cargo 
put on board the junk for a distant port. The vessel, under 
these circumstances boldly went to sea, completing in 



200 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

little more than three weeks a voyage that thentofore took 
six months. She returned with a cargo that yielded such 
a profit as enabled the captain, who had been admitted to 
a share, to quit the sea, and retire to enjoy himself amidst 
his family, This lucky event encouraged another Chinese to 
pursue the same course. He sailed with equal success to 
Malacca, and other places on the east coast, disposing of 
his merchandize to prodigious advantage, and with his 
accumulated riches, sailed from an island at the border of 
the Straits on his return to China, but unfortunately did 
not reach it, nor ever was heard of. This misfortune 
the prejudiced people ascribed entirely to his having 
those diabolical instruments (the quadrant and compass) 
on board his vessel. These bigots, on being reminded 
that the preceding captain had succeeded with the same 
instruments, said, "Hy yaw, that man have too much 
ee good friend with devil come." Since that no Chinese 
has ever ventured to trespass upon their old mode of 
coasting ! 

Nothing appears more extraordinary to the eyes of a 
stranger at Canton than the innumerable boats of different 
sizes with which the river is covered for many miles together. 
The sampan is a commodious boat, and usually has three 
rooms, the largest in the centre. The bottom and deck 
over the rooms or cabins are of a light but close grained 
wood, the divisions and sides are formed of matted work, 
split bamboos, and rattans, painted of different colours and 
ornamented with a variety of figures, making a neat appear- 
ance. They are guided, or steered, as you may call it, 
by a man standing upon a projecting plank near her stern, 
with a long oar or paddle, having two, four, six, and so on 
up to fourteen rowers, according to the size of the boat. 
With the tide, which runs rapidly, they can pull them from 
six to nine miles an hour. Who]e families reside entirely 
in their sampans, not going on shore once in six months. 
They carry on their respective trades or businesses upon 
the water, buying and selling precisely the same as in a 
inarket ; the butchers, bakers., &c., having each a fixed 



CHINESE WOMEN AND CHILDREN 201 

station, so that everyone knows exactly where to go for 
what he wants. 

The females of the higher order are entirely secluded, 
take no part in domestic arrangements, nor ever mix in 
society, or are even seen except by their nearest relations, 
living in indolence and luxury, whilst the poor women 
in humble life are made to execute the most laborious 
and menial services oi the house or sampan. These are 
frequently seen tugging at an oar, having one infant re- 
ceiving its nourishment at the breast and another slung 
behind her. Each child has a vegetable substance, some- 
what resembling a gourd or pumpkin, fastened to its back, 
which, being of a buoyant nature, if the infant falls over- 
board floats it until picked up by its parents or any oilier 
sampan that happens to bo near. The plant that thus 
floats the child, lias the number and station of the sampan 
to which it belongs cut in Chinese characters upon it, by 
which the child is at once ascertained., otherwise in such a 
multitude of boats great confusion would arise. It scarcely 
ever happens that any one is drowned. The women who 
are not doomed to slave for broad, have in early infancy 
shoes of iron, or some equally hard substance, put upon 
their feet, which confine them so closely as to prevent the 
growth. The pain consequent of so stnmge a custom must 
be dreadful, yet custom that operates alike in all countries 
and upon all persons enables them to endure it. They are 
of course cripples, and can scarce walk. The men are vain, 
and anxious to show that they are not obliged to labour 
for a livelihood. Thus an artist;, that is, a painter, a person 
who writes, and many other lines, lets the nail on the 
little finger of his left hand grow to an enormous length, 
thereby making it known that ho is not a common handi- 
craft fellow ! To preserve this long nail from being broke 
when asleep, they every iii^ht fix over it and the finger a 
thin case of wood or metal. 

About half a mile above the City suburbs, in going from 
Whampoa, is a wharf, or embankment, regularly built of 
brick and mortar, extending more than halt a milo in length, 



202 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

upon which wharf stands the different factories or places 
of residence of the Supercargoes, each factory having the 
flag of its nation on a lofty ensign staff before it. At the 
time I was in China they stood in the following order, First, 
the Dutch, then, the French, the English, the Swedes, and 
last, the Danes. Each of these factories, besides admirable 
banqueting, or public rooms for eating, &c., have attached 
to them sets of chambers, varying in size according to the 
establishment. The English being far more numerous 
than any other nation trading with China, their range of 
buildings is much the most extensive. Each supercargo 
has four handsome rooms ; the public apartments are in 
front looking to the river ; the others go inland to the 
depth of two or three hundred feet, in broad courts, having 
the sets of rooms on each side, every set having a distinct 
and separate entrance with a small garden, and every sort 
of convenience. Besides the factories which belong to the 
East India Company there are also others, the property of 
Chinese, who let them to European and Country Captains of 
ships, merchants and strangers whom business brings to 
Canton. For several years there has been an Imperial flag 
flying before a factory occupied by the Germans. The 
Americans (whom the Chinese distinguish by the expressive 
title of second chop Englishmen) have also a flag. The 
number of supercargoes employed by the English East 
India Company in the year 1769 was twelve, but when we 
arrived there were only eleven resident, one being in Europe 
for recovery of his health. Those present were Messieurs 
Revell, Devisme, Torriano, Phipps, Wood, Harrison, Bevan, 
Rous, Eaper, Blake, and Bradshaw. There were also two 
writers, Pigou and Rogers, who after five years' service 
become supercargoes. 

Upon our landing Captain Waddell immediately con- 
ducted Mr. McClintock and me to Mr. Revell, the chief 
supercargo, who after an exchange of compliments, took 
us to a handsome suite of rooms, consisting of two spacious 
bed chambers with dressing room adjoining each, two 
large sitting rooms, and one for eating the whole neatly 



LUXURIOUS QUARTERS 203 

furnished, and having a complete small library. Of these 
apartments he gave me the keys, saying they were for 
the exclusive use of Mr. McClintock and myself during 
our stay in China. He also observed that as it was cus- 
tomary for gentlemen to breakfast in their own chambers, 
every requisite would be amply supplied by the factory 
steward. He further informed us that all the super- 
cargoes, and any guests that honoured them with their 
company, daily dined together in the great hall at two 
o'clock, but if at any time from indisposition or choosing 
to be alone, we preferred dining in private, upon communi- 
cating such wish to the steward he would bring a bill of 
fare, and furnish whatever articles we ordered therefrom. 
After this gracious reception, he left us to repose or do as 
we thought proper until dinner. McClintock and I sallied 
forth and were much entertained with the novelty of the 
scene. We entered several shops, and were soon surprized 
to find it was time to dress. In our way home I was at a 
loss which way to turn at the corner of a street, and my 
companion declared himself equally so, whereupon one of 
the most lovely boys I ever beheld, who had heard our 
doubts, came up with the utmost ease and familiarity, 
though with perfect politeness, saying, 

" I presume, gentlemen, you want to go to the Company's 
Factory. If so, I shall have the pleasure to conduct you as 
this gentleman," pointing to an elderly, stiff, and remarkably 
upright man, with a fan in his hand, " and I are going there." 

We accepted the proffered civility of this charming 
youth, and thus commenced an acquaintance which ripened 
into as sincere a friendship as ever subsisted between two 
persons, and which continued uninterrupted for thirty 
years, ending only in his death. After walking a hundred 
yards, he wished his companion good morning, saying, 
"As we young folk shall move quicker than you like, we 
will leave you, but shall soon meet again." He then took 
hold of my arm and led the way. During our walk he asked 
my name and that of my companion, which, having com- 
municated to him, he jocularly said : 



204 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

" The old quiz who just left us is Stephen Devisme, a 
devilish odd sort of a body, at present second supercargo, 
and will soon be chief, as Revell is going home this season. 
You'll like him well enough. I play all sorts of tricks with 
the old buck. Perhaps you have already heard of me, for 
I make myself conspicuous at Canton, but lest you should 
not, I am Bob Pott. I command the Cruttenden." 

Observing I smiled at the latter part of his speech, he 
said : 

6C Aye, aye, you may laugh and think me a young hand 
to command an East Indiaman, but it's very true for all 
that.' 5 

Pott was at this period not quite fourteen, and as already 
observed the most beautiful lad. Every feature perfect, re- 
markably fair complexion, with a profusion of bright auburn 
hair hanging in natural ringlets about his head and face, 
most piercing eyes, and a figure of the exactest symmetry : 
there was altogether a something about him irresistibly 
attracting and engaging. Having shewn us to our rooms 
he said he would wait while we dressed, and then attend 
us to the dining hall. Upon our arrival there he introduced 
us to Mr. Devisme and Mr. Wood (the only two gentlemen 
then in the room) with an ease and grace that would have 
become the most elegant courtier. Having letters from 
Madras friends to both Mr. Devisme and Mr. Wood, I took 
them from my pocket- and delivered them. The two gentle- 
men thereupon requested I would command their services 
upon every occasion during my stay at Canton. In a few 
minutes Pott observed another gentleman coming up 
stairs, when laying hold of my hand he drew me towards 
the door, saying in a low voice, " That is my chief mate." 
Then quitting me he went up to the stranger, took him by 
the arm and leading him up to me, made us shake hands, 
saying to the gentleman, " You must be friends with Mr. 
Hickey, for I have a great liking to him," and turning to 
me he added, " This is Captain Baker of the Cruttenden, 
my ship," winking significantly. Captain Baker smiled and 
patting his proteg6 upon the head, said, " My dear Bob, 




BOB POTT 205 

there is no occasion for any new aid being called in 
purpose of completely spoiling an already 
spoiled boy." Whilst this was passing, Mr. Revell and the 
other supercargoes came in, with the commanders of the 
different European ships, also Mr. Carvalho, an elegant 
looking man, who was supercargo to several large Country 
ships then at Whampoa. 

Mr. Kevell having introduced McClintock and me to 
the whole party, we sat down, in number about thirty, 
to a capital dinner consisting of fish, flesh and fowl, all 
of the best, with a variety of well dressed made dishes, being 
served up in two courses, followed by a superb dessert, 
the wines, claret, madeira, and hock, all excellent, and 
made as cold as ice. Mr, Devisme placed me next to him, 
and was attentive as possible. He briefly gave me some 
account of every person at table, in doing which I could per- 
ceive an inclination to bo satirical. Having discussed the 
characters of the adults, he continued, " Young Pott is a 
boy of uncommon talents, but volatile to excess, and full of 
mischief as a monkey, and I am truly concerned to see every 
person in tho factory, except myself, endeavouring to ruin 
him by every species of indulgence, and encouraging instead 
of checking his wild sallies and mischievous propensities. 
In short, sir, this place will undo him." Notwithstanding 
this grave speech, I soon discovered he was one of the worst 
spoilers himself. He told mo Pott was the son of the 
surgeon so well known for superior abilities in his pro- 
fession, who having a numerous family of children, was 
compelled to put them into different lines of life. Robert 
was intended for the sea, this being his own choice, and 
was accordingly shipped as a Guinea pig, (the name given 
to boys on their first voyage) on board tho Crutlenden, so 
called after a brother of Mrs. Pott's, who was in the India 
Direction, and principal owner of that and other vessels of 
the Company, of ono of which he (Robert) was to have 
the command when competent to assume it. I afterwards 
heard that Captain Baker was a man who made his own 
interest tho first object upon all occasions, and being 



206 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

dependent upon Pott's family for his success in life, he felt 
the propriety of courting them in every way, and naturally 
enough thought he could not do so more effectually than by 
shewing every possible attention to their young favorite, 
Robert, who, under that impression, was permitted to do 
whatever he pleased, the indulgencies being carried so far 
that the boy was not very wide of the truth in telling me 
he commanded the Cruttenden. 

After sitting .near three hours at table, the company 
separated, Mr. Revell telling me we should assemble again 
to tea and coffee at seven. Mr. Harrison then asked me 
to join three or four friends in his room, to which I accom- 
panied him, where I found Mr. Rous, Wood, Bradshaw, 
and Pott, already seated at a table with bottles and glasses, 
and all, except Pott, partook of some uncommon fine 
claret, Messrs. Harrison and Rous smoking cheroots. Here 
Bob (for so he insisted upon being so called) placed himself 
close by me, expressing his joy in the mo'st energetic terms 
at my having come amongst them, as I was the first reason- 
able creature he had seen since he came to China. 

" Y,our chum," (continued he) " I cannot say so much of. 
To be sure he is a good looking fellow, but then there is 
something so cold, so damned repulsive and formal that he 
makes me sick, and I wonder how the devil you can endure 
one so every way unlike yourself." 

I defended my friend as well as I could, telling Bob he 
greatly mistook the character of McClintock, and upon 
better acquaintance he would like him, that he was by 
nature mild and gentle, but perhaps graver just now than 
usual from being in bad health and in the midst of strangers. 
I also said that as he had been pleased so hastily to form 
a favourable opinion of me, and the reverse of McClintock, 
I apprehended he might shortly see occasion to change his 
sentiments in both respects, of course to my disadvantage. 
He here interrupted me with, 

" No, no. I am clear I am right. I am an admirable 
physiognomist, and never was deceived by a countenance 
in my life. You and I shall be staunch friends to the end of 



A LASTING FRIENDSHIP 207 

our lives. However I shall be glad to see occasion to admit 
that I am wrong respecting McClintock, and rest assured 
that if I do I have candour enough to allow it. Everybody 
says I am a wild and giddy chap, but I trust you will never 
find me obstinately persist in an error, especially as in the 
present case, where I had much rather find myself wrong 
than right." 

He certainly prophesied truly as to ourselves ; we did 
remain unalterable and fast friends till his death termi- 
nated it. 

At seven in the evening we returned to the hall and 
drank coffee and tea, after which some went to cards, some 
to billiards, whilst others walked up and down, or sat 
chatting on a terrace which projected from the hall and 
went several feet over the river, being supported" by large 
piles ; the situation was cool and refreshing. At ten supper 
was announced, from which every person retired when he 
thought proper to his bed. McClintock and I had Chinese 
servants appointed to wait upon us, who we found in 
attendance at our rooms with candles, slippers and all the 
etceteras of the night, 



CHAPTER XVII 

LIFE IN CANTON 

MR. DEVISME had desired us to call upon him after 
our breakfast, as he would take us to see the progress 
of the manufactures carried on. Before seven o'clock in 
the morning I was awakened by Bob Pott bouncing into 
the room, calling me a sluggard, insisting on my im- 
mediately rising and going along with him to see some 
fun. I begged leave to put on my clothes first, to which 
he eagerly answered, "Then you will be too late. Slip 
on your morning gown and come along, it is only a few 
yards off, and no one will see you." I did as he desired, 
when he conducted me to a kind of closet over the 
billiard room, bidding me look through a small aperture 
which he pointed out, from whence I saw a most extra- 
ordinary figure which instantly brought to my mind the 
renowned Don Quixote, as described in the inimitable ro- 
mance bearing that title. It was a tall, lank carcase, ex- 
ceedingly stiff and erect, covered by an oil skin which seemed 
to adhere to his skeleton form, shewing distinctly his almost 
bare bones. On his head he wore a cap of the same material, 
cut in a peculiar shape, and making his meagre countenance 
and lantern jaws appear still longer than they actually were. 
The tout ensemble was the most grotesque I ever beheld. 
Not having the most remote idea who it could be, I asked 
Pott, who with a laugh replied, " Zounds ! have you so 
soon forgot your new acquaintance, Stephen Devisme ? 3> 
Whereupon I recognized the dismal features of that gentle- 
man. He was giving directions to some servants who were 
employed, as I imagined, in washing a parcel of puppies that 
were plunging about in a large bathing tub of water, some 
of them seeming to be in danger of drowning. Astonished 
at the exhibition, I asked Bob the meaning of it, who, 

208 



DEVISME'S BATH 209 

almost convulsed with laughter, told me the old gentleman 
regularly every morning between six and seven o'clock 
used a cold bath, in which after remaining near an hour, he 
rolled himself in a loose gown and lay down upon a couch, 
where the men I saw shampooed him. This is a pre- 
valent custom iu China, as well as every part of India, 
of cracking different joints and rubbing every part of the 
body with instruments made for the purpose, improving, 
as it is supposed, the circulation of the blood and conducing 
to health. The sensation created by this ceremony is odd and 
not unpleasant. Many Europeans are extremely fond of it. 

" Now/' said Bob, " I deem it right to let him have some 
companions in his bath, and therefore yesterday collected 
those puppies that you see. By the bye, the cursed animals 
kept me awake a great part of the night with their con- 
founded howling, and getting up at six this morning I had 
them in waiting at the tub, and the moment I heard 
Stephen coming clown stairs I popped them in and off I ran 
to summon you that you might have a peep." 

So strange a prank scarce any one but such a pickle 
an Bob would have thought of. He appeared quite de- 
lighted at the mortified visage of poor Mr. Dovisme, 
who, descending in the expectation of a cool and refreshing 
wash to enable him to endure the heat of the rest of the 
day, instead of that comfort found his tub occupied by 
half a dozen drowning dogs. Upon first seeing the whimsi- 
cal figure I exclaimed, " By heavens, it is Don Quixote 
himself." This tickled the wicked boy's fancy prodigiously, 
and from that timo he never called Mr. Devisme by any 
other name than " The Don." 

Having finished our breakfast, McClintock and I went 
to Mr. Devisme's who, after shewing us a very choice collec- 
tion of curiosities of his own, conducted us to the different 
manufactures to inspect the progress thereof. On our way 
ho informed us that no Europeans whatsoever were ever 
allowed to pass the gates of the city, a circumstance, an 
ho said, little to be regretted, because in fact there \vat* 
nothing iu Canton worth seeing, whereas in the suburbs 



210 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

where we were allowed free egress and regress, there was 
much deserving the attention of strangers. 

We were then shewn the different processes used in 
finishing the China ware. In one long gallery we found 
upwards of a hundred persons at work in sketching or 
finishing the various ornaments upon each particular piece 
of the ware, some parts being executed by men of a very 
advanced age, and others by children even so young as six 
or seven years. Mr. Devisme then led us to some of their 
most celebrated painters upon glass, to the fan makers, 
workers in ivory, japanners, jewellers, and all the various 
artificers of Canton. 

After passing the morning greatly to our satisfaction we 
returned towards home. Upon getting home we found a 
youth waiting for us and who, following the example 
of Mr. Pott, told us his name was Revell, son of the chief 
supercargo, that when we arrived he was on board the 
Earl of Lincoln, in which ship his father was going to 
Europe, and that he had only returned from Whampoa 
half an hour and directly called to visit us. Young 
Kevell was then about fourteen, exceedingly plain in the 
face, but his features marked by peculiar drollery, and 
I soon discovered that in all sorts of mischievous pranks 
he was a complete match for Bob Pott. He was a writer 
of that year, upon the Madras establishment., and had 
come out in a ship for the purpose of seeing his father. 
After rattling for some time with great pleasantry, address- 
ing McClintock, he said, " May I be so bold, sir, as to ask 
how you spell your name." 

" Certainly," answered McClintock, and directly told the 
letters. 

" Humph," said young Revell, " I find nothing very diffi- 
cult to pronounce there, but my father, who you must know, 
sir, though I say it that ought not to say it, is a little bit 
of an oddity, tells me that for the soul of him he could 
not catch the sound of your name yesterday, but from the 
^information you ha,ve now kindly furnished me with, I 
shall enable him to pronounce it correctly." 



THE DIFFICULTIES OF A NAME 

At the dinner table we met again, where we had been 
seated only a few minutes, when Mr. Revell senior said 
"Mr. Macmutton-chop will you do me the favour to drink a 
glass of wine." This ridiculous perversion of the name 
caused a universal laugh, young Revell in particular abso- 
lutely screeched, at which his father was greatly offended, 
calling him an impudent puppy, saucy jackanapes, pert 
bastard, and other opprobrious epithets, and again address- 
ing McClintock said, " I beg your pardon, sir, I presume from 
the mirth I have excited that a mistake has been committed 
by me. If so, the fault is that little imp of hell's, and entirely 
his doing. I verily believe the devil brought him here for 
the purpose of tormenting me. The impertinent rascal 
never seems happy but when he has an opportunity of 
rendering his father contemptible." Then, turning to his 
son, he continued, " But I beg leave to tell you, young man, 
such conduct docs not at all tend to your credit and must 
inevitably sink you in the estimation of all reasonable and 
thinking men." 

Joe, which was the boy's Christian name, seemed affected, 
and gravely expressed his sorrow at having offended, which 
was far from his intention, all he thought of being to make 
an innocent laugh. The old gentleman, who fondly loved 
his boy, instantly replied, "Well, well, Joe, say no more 
about it, I believe you would not intentionally distress or 
vex me. Co mo and give mo a kiss of oblivion and reconcili- 
ation." And peace was thus restored. 

There was this day at dinner a Mr. Magee, who had 
thcutoforo been Registrar of the Mayor's Court, at Cal- 
cutta, which situation he quitted with a good fortune, 
returning to England overland, an expedition then rarely 
taken by Europeans. The circumstances attending this 
journey, the traveller had more pleasure in. relating than 
the auditors had in listening to them, the account being 
dull and prolix. Joe Revell soon discovered Magce's 
foible, and his delight was to set him agoing upon the 
subject of Hie marvellous incidents that occurred upon the 
journey, and having once got him fairly into the history, 



212 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

he would slip away, leaving whoever was unlucky enough 
to sit next Magee to listen to the tiresome often told tale of 
two hours long, so that at last it became quite ridiculous 
to observe the manoeuvres practised by the gentlemen to 
avoid getting near Mr. Magee. I was early told that he 
made it a rule to give every new comer a full, true, and 
particular account of his interesting jaunt. I therefore, in- 
stead of avoiding, on the third day placed myself by his 
side and listened with much composure to the tiresome 
anecdotes of Bussorah, Damascus, Bagdad, and the great 
Desert, fee., the company one by one moving off until onl^ 
he and I remained, The sleepy narrative lasted usually 
from two to three hours. Having thus gone through my 
ordeal I never afterwards scrupled getting up in the middle 
of his harangue if addressed to me. Once, Pott, thinking 
me in danger of the old history, came to my assistance, 
saying, "Hickey has already done penance, Magee, by 
listening to your prosing, and is, like every body in the 
factory, resolved to have no more of Bagdad, so you had 
better now entertain the Swedes and Danes. Oh, how they 
will edify ! Come along, Hickey," and he fairly pulled me 
out of the room. 

An express now arrived from Whampoa with the agree- 
able news of the Triton, and other Madras ships, being 
arrived. Several of them, especially the Hector and Notting- 
ham, suffered severely in the tuffoon we had encountered ; 
the Hector lost all three top masts and materially damaged 
her cotton. The Nottingham was thrown upon her beam 
ends, and lay water logged so long that the men had axes 
in their hands to cut away the lower masts as the only 
chance of saving her, when she luckily righted. The follow- 
ing day I met my shipmate, Denil Court, who told me that 
not liking Madras a bit better than I did, he had availed 
himself of an opportunity of leaving it by accepting the 
situation of surgeon to the Ashburnham, her doctor being 
so ill he was obliged to stay on shore. 

The fifth day we dined with Mr. Carvalho, who entertained 
us sumptuously, having an excellent band of music playing 



AN AFTER DINNER ACCIDENT 213 

during our meal. He had two pleasant young men in his 
family, with both of whom I lived much for several years 
after. One was Mr. Grady, who acquired a large fortune 
in Bengal and died in England many years ago ; the other 
was Mr. Richard Sullivan, afterwards appointed to the 
Company's Civil service at Madras, where he also became 
rich, returned to England and there held a post of emolu- 
ment under Government. He was created a Baronet and 
died a few years back. At Mr. Carvalho's I spent several 
of the happiest days of my life. 

Our chief mate, Rogers, coming to Canton, informed 
me that my acquaintance, Captain Welch of the Osterley, 
died in the Straits of Malacca, on the passage from Madras 
to China. The first officer, Mr. Fortescue, thereupon suc- 
ceeded to the command, and two days after the ship's 
arrival at Whampoa the new captain (Fortescue) having 
been on board one of the other Indiamen to dinner, on his 
return to the Osterley late at night, there being a platform 
alongside for the people to stand upon when caulking the 
sides, he walked from the boat over it, but in ascending 
the steps of the ship his foot slipped and he fell between the 
vessel's side and the platform into the water. The tide 
then running with rapidity the chances were a thousand to 
one against him. However, a quarter master who was upon 
the stage with a lantern, the moment the Captain fell put 
his arm down as far as he could reach into the water and 
most fortunately caught hold of his coat, by which he 
drew him up and preserved his life. The then chief mate, 
Mr. Lawson, (afterwards Commander of the new Lord 
Holland) when he heard Captain Fortescue was thus miracu- 
lously saved, swore nothing but his (Lawson's) general ill 
luck could have occasioned it. Although this speech was 
made apparently in jocularity, those best acquainted with 
the speaker firmly believed it came from the heart. 

This Lawson was a very extraordinary fellow. Two years 
after the above circumstance occurred he found means to 
raise a sufficient sum of money to purchase the command of 
the ship built in the stead of the Lord Holland lost going into 



214 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Bengal river. He was a prodigious coxcomb both in dress 
and manners, and like my friend Douglas was distinguished 
in the India service by the title of " Count " Lawson. He 
however did not possess equal talents with Douglas for 
making money, or at least of keeping it when made. Being 
a determined schemer he was perpetually engaging in 
some wild speculation which, if you credited his assertions, 
could not fail yielding a profit of five hundred per cent. The 
event never answered those assertions, or his sanguine hopes 
nevertheless he dashed on. Upon his first voyage as 
Captain he carried out an investment of thirty thousand 
pounds, and was very successful until his return to the 
British Channel, where he smuggled property to a large 
amount, was informed against, lost the whole of the goods, 
and was turned out of the command of the ship. His wife 
was a lovely girl whom he married upon becoming a Cap- 
tain (at Madras). She was sister to Richard Sullivan, whom 
I have already mentioned, and died just after they left 
St. Helena homeward bound. Whereupon Lawson, to 
shew his attachment and respect for her memory, had the 
corpse put into a puncheon of rum that it might be in- 
terred on shore. His grief was violent beyond example ; 
he never made his appearance after her death until the 
ship was running into Cork, where he went on shore and 
in three days took to his arms a second wife ! also a beauti- 
ful girl. Through the interest of her connexions princi- 
pally he got over the smuggling scrape so far as to be 
restored to the service, purchased a large French ship (the 
Modeste), which he caused to be lengthened, superbly 
fitted out in every respect, and she departed for China, 
under the name of the LocJco. In her he also took out 
an enormous private investment on his own account, which 
he disposed of to advantage. A considerable proportion 
of it was contraband, and one of his petty officers who 
either actually had been, or fancied himself to have been, 
ill treated, upon their arrival in England lodged an informa- 
tion against him, in consequence of which he was Ex- 
chequered and judgments finally given against him for 



JOHN BULL'S FISTS 215 

near one hundred thousand pounds, the amount recovered 
in that Court being trebled. This effectually ruined him, 
discharging such a sum was beyond his power ingenious as 
he had shewn himself on several occasions. He therefore 
absconded as the only means of keeping his person free ; 
embarked in a foreign ship, once more for the East, settled 
as a merchant at Vizagapatain, where according to public 
report he has amassed considerable wealth and only waits the 
accomplishment of his endeavours to compromise the Ex- 
chequer fines again to visit his native land. 

In the beginning of September (1769) the long boat of the 
Granby going up from Whampoa to Canton, with treasure 
on board, rowed past the Hoppo house without stopping 
to be examined. The Chinese officers chased, and over- 
taking the long boat, insisted upon their going back. The 
style in which this order was given offended the British 
tars, and they refused to comply. The Chinamen then 
absurdly attempted to enforce their order by violence, and 
were all plumped into the river, with a few not very gentle 
mementoes from the fists of John Bull. In the scuffle they 
gave out that one man was drowned. This transaction set 
the whole city in a ferment, mandarins were seen in every 
direction, all trade and even the daily supply of provisions 
to the ships was stopped, and the crew of the long boat were 
required to be given up to be tried for the murder, as they 
called it. The supercargoes refused to comply, alleging 
that the long boat having treasure on board ought not, 
from the usual privilege in such cases, to have been stopped, 
and that she had the signal of carrying treasure flying at 
the time. The mandarins continued obstinate and as the 
evils would have been serious by a mutual perseverance, 
a sort of compromise was made by the supercargoes, who 
agreed that the long boat and her crew should remain at 
the stairs of the factory until the business had been en- 
quired into fairly, a person on behalf of the Company being 
allowed to be present during the investigation. 

Whilst the Enquiry, or Trial, was going on the Jacks 
continued their sojourn at Canton, amusing themselves 



216 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

every evening by sitting round the flag staff, there lighting 
up a number of little candles of different colours, red, white, 
green and blue, drinking their grog (sometimes to excess) 
and singing their sea ditties, the whimsicality of their 
phrases and general conversation greatly entertaining the 
supercargoes and their company who were seated, or 
walking in the verandah over their heads. One evening 
Mr. Devisme, observing that three or four of the seamen 
were greatly intoxicated and would not retire to the boat 
to sleep, he called over the balustrade to the refractory 
men, reminding them how much they endangered their 
health by drinking and exposing themselves to the damps 
of the night. The admonition was received with perfect 
good humour and some sallies of wit. One of the sailors 
desired leave to address Mr. Devisme in answer to his speech 
and immediately began a volley of the most out of the 
way and ludicrous oaths, which, having sent forth, he con- 
tinued, " Well done, my hearty cock, you palaver damned 
well with that paunch of yours well lined with beef and 
pudding, not to speak of the righteous of which I'm 
damned if you missed taking your share whilst we poor 
dogs down here between decks can scarce get a drop to 
wet our whistles. Come now, my hearty, serve us out a 
sample and we'll drink the King, God love him, not for- 
getting the stingy (East India) Company." Then, turning 
to his messmates, he went on, " I say, my lads, I wonder 
whether these devils aloft will serve out any grog or not, 
but never mind, thank God we're all alive, ain't we, so let's 
have three cheers," which were instantly given with the 
utmost glee by the whole party. But, poor fellows, before 
the same hour of the following evening three of them were 
dead, and in the two next days five more expired. 

Eight men dying thus suddenly created strong suspicion 
of foul play and that poison had been resorted to. Upon in- 
telligence of so extraordinary a mortality reaching Wham- 
poa, the crews of the whole fleet became outrageous, and the 
officers had great difficulty in preventing them from seizing 
the arms, and the boats, and proceeding in a body to fire 



THE DEADLY DEWS 217 

the City of Canton in revenge for the murders of their com- 
panions, nor were they pacified until two of the captains, 
who fortunately happened to be on board their ships at the 
time, pledged their honours that an enquiry of the strictest 
nature should take place forthwith to ascertain the real 
cause of the death of the eight seamen, and that the result 
should be communicated to the fleet. The supercargoes 
accordingly summoned every European surgeon then at 
Canton, in whose presence the bodies of the first three 
that died were opened, and after the most minute inspection 
and examination they were unanimously of opinion there 
was not a single symptom whereon to found the most dis- 
tant probability or even possibility of poison having been 
administered, and that the persons lost their lives by ex- 
posing themselves, without any covering, to the noxious 
dews and vapours of the night. The same examination and 
opinion took place as to the other five who died. 

Upon this investigation and report the Chinese were con- 
tent and relinquished their threatened prosecution. The 
seamen were also satisfied, and matters went on as before. 
The circumstance, however, caused another death, thus : 
The Grariby on her passage out touched at Batavia, a port 
always notorious for its unhealthiness, being particularly 
fatal to new comers. Within a few hours after she was 
moored in the harbour, the prevalent fever of the country 
broke out on board ship, and in less than a month sixty of 
the crew, with the captain, chief, third, fourth, and sixth 
mates, also the surgeon and his assistant, fell martyrs to it, 
the only officers that escaped being the second and fifth 
mates, and of those two, the second, whose name was Small- 
wood, and who succeeded to the command of the ship, was so 
affected by the mortality that raged around him as never 
afterwards to be himself, becoming hypochondriacal to 
the greatest degree. After being seventeen weeks at 
Batavia, the Dutch Governor lent sixty men to help in 
navigating the ship to China, where they were to be given 
up to their supercargoes, and be by them distributed to 
euch ships of Holland as might be in want of men. 



218 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Upon the deaths of the eight men as above mentioned. 
Captain Smallwood was greatly agitated and depressed, and 
notwithstanding the report of the medical gentlemen, he 
persisted in a belief that they were all poisoned, and he was 
sure that he also should fall a sacrifice to the malignant 
and revengeful dispositions of the natives, who would poison 
him. The supercargoes, the surgeon of the factory (Mr. 
Gordon), an able and learned man, all exerted their en- 
deavours to convince the miserable man of his folly, but 
without success, he pined and died, convinced he was 
poisoned. 

Scarce had the surprize and distress occasioned by the 
foregoing circumstance subsided, when another not so 
serious in its consequences occurred. An order was sent 
to the head Cohong merchant to stop all further cargo 
being supplied for the ships, Captain Elphinstone, who com- 
manded one of them, having been guilty of a gross violation 
of the law by introducing a female into Canton. This female 
was a smart little Madras girl, to whom the Captain at- 
tached himself whilst at Fort St. George, and easily pre- 
vailed on her to accompany him to England. Aware that 
he could not introduce her at the factory of Canton, he 
put upon her the garb of a boy, and as such she attended 
her master. Either the Chinese saw through the artifice 
or some one of the Captain's domestics betrayed him. 
Upon the discovery the poor little girl was violently 
seized and sent off a prisoner to Macao. Captain Elphin- 
stone well knew the sole object in view was to fleece him 
of a sum of money, yet he had no means of avoiding it, 
the Chinese being despotic and always taking care to 
enforce penalties according to their own pleasure. As 
soon therefore as any offence is known, the Government 
at once suspend, not only commerce but the supply of 
provisions until the culprit, real or imaginary, consents 
to pay the mulct required. Indeed, they make security 
doubly secure, every ship having a person on, board while 
in China who is called, " Compredor," who is responsible 
for the good conduct of every man on board, which risk 



THE COMPKEDOR 219 

he encounters in consideration of laying in her daily stock, 
from which a great profit arises. To the Compredor the 
magistrate looks in the first instance, who either must 
directly pay, or lose his liberty, perhaps his life, if the sum 
demanded be so large as to be beyond his power of dis- 
charging. Captain Elphinstone directed his Compredor to 
settle the business in the best manner he could, and it was 
arranged for five hundred dollars ! So much for the 
justice of China ! ! 



CHAPTER XVIII 

LIFE IN CANTON (continued) 

BOB POTT passed most of his time in our rooms, gener- 
ally coming before I was up of a morning. He break- 
fasted with us, and if he took it into his head that McClintock 
was too long at the meal, or drank too much tea, he without 
the least ceremony overset the table. The first time he 
practised this, I was very angry at such a quantity of 
handsome China being thus mischievously demolished, and 
expressed my displeasure thereat, which only excited the 
mirth of young pickle. " Why, zounds ! " said he, " you 
surely forget where you are. I never suffer the servants to 
have the trouble of removing a tea equipage, always throw- 
ing the whole apparatus out of window or down stairs. 
They easily procure another batch from the steward's 
warehouse," 

Doctor Court was a constant source of amusement to us. 
He had a mode of entertainment he was extremely partial 
to, which he denominated "hunting," and we, in our 
morning excursions, sometimes met him "in full cry," 
when he always entreated we would join the chase. His 
sport was this. The Chinese are the best pick pockets in the 
world, and although a European may not with impunity 
strike one of them, yet should he detect a rogue in the very 
act of thieving, he is allowed to belabour the offender as 
much, and as long, as he pleases. Court, with all his eccen- 
tricities, possessed a great share of good sense, and al- 
though he affected the look and manners of an idiot to 
answer some private purpose, never in material points 
betrayed a deficiency of understanding. The Chinese con- 
sidered him to be absolutely mad, an idea that he en- 
couraged with a view to annoy and torment them by 
various tricks, with the less risk to himself, as they never 

220 



DOCTOR COURT'S CHASE 221 

thought of complaining of a madman. He therefore used 
to tie one end of his handkerchief fast to the button hole 
of an under flap he had to his coat pockets, leaving the 
other end hanging carelessly, as it were by accident, out of 
his pocket, and thus, with a vacant stare, stalk negligently 
up and down the most public and frequented streets of the 
suburbs. The light fingered gentry, attracted by the 
appearance of the handkerchief, soon followed, making a 
snatch at the hoped for prize. The instant Court felt the 
jerk, or attempt, he suddenly turned upon the thief whom 
he began to thrash with a stout but pliant bamboo he 
carried in his hand for the purpose. The fellow upon this 
usually took to his heels, Court pursuing, every now and 
then as he came within reach, taking a lick at him, and 
thus he would " chase " until out of breath and tired, or 
that the pick pocket darted into some narrow passage or 
house for shelter, to the infinite entertainment of the 
spectators. 

His common address when he entered our rooms was, 
" Come, my worthies, (a favourite word of his) here's a 
charming day for hunting, allons done" He was perpetually 
playing some tricks upon the Chinamen, whereby he plagued 
them exceedingly, so that many of the principal shop- 
keepers set people to watch when the mad doctor was 
coming, and upon receiving notice of his approach barri- 
caded their doors against him. 

Late in September a strange little man arrived from 
Madras in a Country ship, calling himself General De 
Castro. He was, or had been, a Jew, the ugliest rascal I 
ever beheld, not quite five feet in height and altogether 
so ridiculous a figure that the able pencil of Banbury could 
scarcely have caricatured him. Yet this every way con- 
temptible little animal was superlatively vain, conceiving 
himself an object of envy to the men, and of admiration and 
love to the women. His dress was as extravagant and absurd 
as his person was outre. He never appeared without being 
covered with lace and finery, thereby rendering his diminu- 
tive figure more laughable. He gave himself out as a 



222 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

General officer in the service of the Nabob of Arcot, where 
he had acted the part of a hero, and often been the pre- 
server of the Carnatic, of which his employer was so sensible 
that he had rewarded him with no less a sum than one 
hundred thousand pounds ! He was a good natured silly 
blockhead, and proved a new butt for Court to exercise 
his talents upon ; which he lost no opportunity of doing. 
Unfortunately this little Jew general took a liking to me ; 
he followed me about wherever I went, and made me, much 
against my inclination, the confident of all his secrets. He 
was of a nervous habit, and fancied himself a martyr to a 
variety of diseases which were rapidly undermining his 
naturally vigorous constitution, and killing him. He more 
than once came to my bedside in the middle of the night, 
awaking me to let me know it was all over with him, and 
he at the last gasp actually expiring. The first time he 
did this I was much distressed, got up as fast as I could and 
posted away to Dr. Gordon, who, hearing the cause of my 
unseasonable visit, requested I would not allow myself 
to be duped by that little wretch's whims and fancies, that 
he had twice or thrice disturbed him in the same manner, 
when finding nothing ailed him he forbid his ever coming to his 
apartments, or upon any account presuming to send for him 
in the night, notwithstanding which prohibition he had been 
there the preceding one, but instead of administering either 
medecine or comfort, he (the Doctor) assured the would be 
patient the next time he thus made his appearance he would 
give him such a drubbing as he should not speedily forget. 

After receiving this account from the Doctor, I told 
the General what had passed and that he only fancied 
himself ill. His nocturnal visits were nevertheless con- 
tinued, and he became so troublesome I was obliged to 
insist upon his dying quietly in his own chamber, or at 
least that he would cease to disturb me. At this he took 
great offence, protesting he had been much deceived in my 
character, and found I was not a bit better than the rest 
of the detestable society of Canton. Two years afterwards 
I saw this miserable general in a side box of one of the 



THE MANDARIN'S MITE 223 

London theatres, and was later told he that winter realised 
his fears of departing this life. 

In the middle of September, Pott, being tired by the 
sameness of Canton, proposed a trip to Whampoa for 
variety, and the next day he and I embarked in a large 
sampan consisting of three spacious rooms, the steward 
of the factory having sent on board ample provisions in 
victuals and wines. On stopping at the first Hoppo house 
and, according to custom, opening my trunk for examina- 
tion, the mandarin took up a red morocco case containing 
combs and a pair of scissors, saying, " Cumshaw." This 
I did not understand, but Bob told me the fellow asked the 
case as a present, and he began abusing him for so doing, 
calling him a " Qrui so," (cuckold) " Ladrone," (thief) and 
other opprobrious names. The Chinaman shewed evident 
marks of surprize at so young a boy's dealing out abuse so 
liberally, became exceedingly angry, and called to the people 
of his boat alongside with mucli apparent wrath and gesticu- 
lation, Pott only increasing his abuse thereat, but as the 
combs were of trifling value I thought it better to end the 
dispute by giving them to the mandarin, who accepted them 
with a profusion of thanks and went off in high glee, saying 
"Chin chin" as he departed, which is the common saluta- 
tion. Bob was very angry with me for giving them, saying 
he would much rather have kicked the scoundrel than made 
him a present. 

On arriving at Whampoa, we went on board the Crutten- 
den, where we were very hospitably received and entertained 
by the second officer, then in command. Early the following 
morning we went to the Plassey, where Eogers insisted upon 
our spending the day. 

After spending three very merry days at Whampoa, we 
returned to Canton, where McClintock gave me a card of 
invitation to two different entertainments on following 
days, at the country house of one of the Hong merchants 
named Pankeequa. These fetes were given on the 1st 
and 2nd of October, the first of them being a dinner, 
dressed and served a la mode Anglaise, the Chinamen on 



224 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

that occasion using, and awkwardly enough, knives and 
forks, and in every respect conforming to the European 
fashion. The best wines of all sorts were amply supplied. 
In the evening a play was performed, the subject warlike, 
where most capital fighting was exhibited, with better 
dancing and music than I could have expected. In one 
of the scenes an English naval officer, in full uniform and 
fierce cocked hat, was introduced, who strutted across the 
stage, saying " Maskee can do ! God damn ! " whereon 
a loud and universal laugh ensued, the Chinese quite in an 
ecstacy, crying out "Truly have much ee like Englishman." 

The second day, on the contrary, every thing was Chinese, 
all the European guests eating, or endeavouring to eat, 
with chop sticks, no knives or forks being at table. The 
entertainment was splendid, the victuals supremely good, 
the Chinese loving high dishes and keeping the best of 
cooks. At night brilliant fire works (in which they also 
excel) were let off in a garden magnificently lighted by 
coloured lamps, which we viewed from a temporary build- 
ing erected for the occasion and wherein there was exhibited 
slight of hand tricks, tight and slack rope dancing, followed 
by one of the cleverest pantomimes I ever saw. This con- 
tinued until a late hour, when we returned in company with 
several of the supercargoes to our factory, much gratified 
with the liberality and taste displayed by our Chinese host. 

Mr. Phipps one day at dinner offered to help me from a 
dish that stood before him, which he described as a delicious 
fricassee. I accepted, and found it as he had said, ex- 
quisitely good. The following day I was again eating the 
same dish, when the gentleman next me asked if I knew 
what it was. I answered " No," but thought it chicken. 
" Chicken," replied he, "not it indeed, it is frogs." Strange 
and absurd as it may appear, upon hearing this I instantly 
turned so dreadfully sick I was obliged to leave the table. 
Such was the force of prejudice. Upon enquiry I found that 
frogs had long been one of the dishes at the supercargo's 
table ; it consisted of only the hind quarters of the frog. 
No person was more ready to admit the absurdity of the 



THE FEELING IN THE CITY 225 

prejudice than myself, yet had my life been at stake I do 
not think I could have swallowed a mouthful of the ex- 
cellent fricassee after I knew of what it was made. 

Court often proposed to us to take a view of the in- 
terior of the City, and at last we consented to attend 
him. Rogers and Dr. Gowdie agreeing to join the party, 
we set out early in the morning, at once discovering 
when we were out of our limits by the inhabitants of 
the houses coming to their doors to stare at us, the 
children following, hooting and calling out epithets of re- 
proach, some of them pelting us with bricks and stones, 
Thus we reached the gates of the city, where the Guard 
stationed there attempted to arrest our progress, but our 
eccentric pilot, Court, shoving one away on each side, and 
sputtering a parcel of gibberish, pushed by, we all following. 
Upon entering the City, in addition to the former accom- 
paniments of hooting, pelting and staring, out of every 
house we passed issued two, three or more dogs, all of which 
followed us, barking for a certain distance from their re- 
spective homes. Having walked through the City without 
seeing a single object of any kind that could in any way 
compensate for the illtreatment we received, we continued 
our traverse about a mile into the country, when we re- 
turned, encountering the same pelting and insults we had. 
before, and in an increased degree, dirt and filth of every 
kind being cast at us. Let no stranger, therefore, ever think 
of forcing his way into Canton in the expectation of his* 
curiosity being gratified by handsome buildings, or in any 
respect whatever, for like us he will meet with nothing but 
insult and disappointment. 

I shall now mention an instance of their impudence and 
knavery in Canton. Mr. Devisme hearing me express a 
wish for some good ribbed silk stockings, said he could 
recommend a parcel, made purposely for him, of the very 
best silk procurable in China, but being considerably too 
large for his spindle shank though he had given his measure, 
he refused to take them and they were left upon the maker's 
hands. He then gave me the man's name, describing the 



226 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HiCKEY 

situation of his shop telling me it was at the corner of 
Edinburgh Alley, the title given to a narrow passage from 
its filthiness and offensive smell. To the shop I went, where 
I asked the master for the ribbed silk stockings that had 
been made for Mr. Devisme but did not fit him, adding that 
Mr. Devisme had sent me to purchase them. They were 
immediately produced, and beautifully fine and strong 
they appeared to be. I took four dozen, and asking the 
price the man answered eighteen dollars each dozen. As 
I thought that very cheap, and took it for granted it was 
the price Mr. Devisme was to have paid, I counted out the 
amount, took up my stockings and was marching ofi with 
them, when the master turning to another Chinese I had 
found in the shop with him, said in a loud voice cc Hy you, 
truly that man have too much ee great fool," and they both 
joined in a hearty laugh. Unwilling to suppose that I was 
the subject of the speech and laugh, indeed not entertaining 
the most distant idea that I could be so, I looked round 
to see what could have occasioned it, whereupon the mirth 
of the two fellows encreased, in the midst of which I left 
them. At dinner that day Mr. Devisme asked me if I had 
been or sent for the stockings. I answered that I had, when 
he observed they were not only far better in quality than 
any I could have purchased, but considerably cheaper. 
To their excellence I assented, but as to the price I had 
bought some at a dollar a pair. "Why, what did you pay 
for them ? " asked Mr. Devisme. I replied, " A dollar and a 
half." 

" Oh, the infernal thief," exclaimed Mr. Devisme. "Ho 
had engaged to make them for me at three quarters of a 
dollar, and that was above my usual price, which I agreed 
to allow because the silk was uncommonly thick, and surely 
I told you so." 

I now began to think the laugh that had taken place in 
the shop must have been at me. Upon relating the circum- 
stance to Mr. Devisme, he said it undoubtedly was. So 
that the impudent rascal, not content with cheating, called 
me a fool and laughed at me into the bargain. I enquired 



THE RIBBED SILK STOCKINGS 227 

whether I could not punish the man for the fraud, but found 
there was no law to reach him for such an act. Pott and I 
went the following day to his shop to abuse him, which only 
excited his mirth, and he again called me a fool. I observed 
that he seemed to eye my young companion with much 
earnestness, frequently saying, as if to himself, " Hy you 
truly have much ee handsome." Upon which Bob smiled. 
The fellow I supposed encouraged by this, took hold of his 
hand, and said, " Truly you go with me, I curnshaw all 
things," pointing to various articles of China ware and 
other things upon the counter. The boy thereupon gave 
him a pretty smart cut across the shoulders with a rattan in 
his hand, swearing if he uttered another word of that sort he 
would demolish every article that stood within his reach. 
The man cooly replied, " Maske Maskee you come along 
with me, can break you please." Bob then with his stick 
did break some China vases, and ran out of the shop. 

There was a China man who took excellent likenesses in 
clay, which he afterwards coloured, and they were altogether 
well executed. To this man's shop, Pott and I went to see 
his performances. We found Mr. Carnegie, surgeon of the 
ship Nottingham, sitting for his portrait, and complaining 
violently what a damned ugly phiz he was making^ After 
repeating this several times, the artist lay down his tools 
and looking significantly at Carnegie, said, "Hy you hand- 
some face no have got how can make," and turning to 
Pott, he continued "Here can make handsome face, for 
too much e handsome face have got." Carnegie was 
offended at both observations, declaring he would not 
pay for or take the model away. He kept his word, and 
the next time wo called at the shop we saw Mr. Carnegie 
tucked up, hanging by a rope round the neck, to a beam, 
among several others. Enquiring the meaning of this, 
the performer with much anger answered, " All these havo 
too much ee grand Ladrones, give me too much trouble, 
make handsome face, no pay, no take, so must ee hang 
up." Bob and myself both sat and had good likenesses 
taken, Bob in a midshipman's uniform, I in scarlet with 



228 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

buff facings and silver lace, being the Madras regimen- 
tals. 

The 1st of November being Mr. Wood's birthday, PotL 
insisted upon celebrating it in his (Mr. Wood's) own 
apartments, and ordered the steward to prepare and send 
there a dinner for six. He would not tell even me who 
were to be the party. At the appointed hour we met 
it consisted of Mr. Wood, a nephew and namesake of 
his, who was fifth mate of one of the Indiamen, Joe 
Revell, a young friend of Pott's, sixth mate of the 
Cruttenden, Pott and myself. Pott presided, and when 
the cloth was removed, declared himself despotic as toast- 
master. Mr. Wood upon this occasion furnished some very 
choice old Malmsey madeira, at which we set to Mr. 
Wood, who was in but indifferent health, being on that 
account left at liberty to do as he pleased. The rest were 
ordered to fill bumpers to every toast. Between each glass 
a song was sung. Thus we continued till near eight in the 
evening, by which Bob became speechless and in a very 
few minutes after fell under the table, quite insensible. 
The other three lads, being little better, were led off by 
servants. 

Having seen Bob put to bed, I went to my own room, 
with my recollection perfectly about me, but extremely 
sick from having swallowed so enormous a quantity as 
I had of a rich, luscious wine. I nevertheless slept soundly 
until near ten o'clock the next morning, at which I 
awoke with so excruciating a head ache I could not stir, 
the pain if possible being increased by Bob just then 
entering my room hallooing at a prodigious rate, until he 
perceived that I looked ill, when he instantly desisted. I 
was then seized with a vomiting, which continued with 
scarce any intermission for three hours, and I actually 
thought would have killed me. I remained two days 
so ill that poor Bob was very uneasy, nor would cease 
importuning me until I agreed to see Dr. Gordon. That 
gentleman gave me some medicine that afforded me relief. 
He desired me to keep quiet a couple of days more, which 



A TEMPTING OFFER 229 

I did, my young friend never leaving me. On the third 
morning I felt tolerably well and that day joined the usual 
party at dinner. 

On the 8th the wind changed, blowing fresh from the 
North, which produced an alteration I could not have 
believed had I not felt it. From a really oppressive 
degree of heat it suddenly became so cold that we were all 
shivering with cloth coats on, and at dinner found a cheer- 
ful blazing fire most acceptable and comfortable. From 
that day there was a constant keen wind, with beautifully 
clear weather, enabling us to take as much exercise as we 
chose without risk of endangering our health, which was 
far from being the case during the heats. 

From the nature of the place, as already described, 
Canton afforded little variety, except for the first few days, 
after which there was nothing but repetition of the same 
round, yet time flew quickly away, and the period fixed 
for our leaving China was rapidly approaching. The Crutten- 
den and two other ships were to sail on the 5th of Decem- 
ber. Bob was so sincerely attached to me that for several 
days previous thereto he entirely lost his spirits at the 
thoughts of our parting. On the morning of the 2nd of the 
month he came, soon after day light, to my bedside to say 
he had a great favour to ask which I must promise to 
grant. I answered there was nothing in my power I would 
not readily do to gratify or oblige him, and so in truth I 
would, for had the charming boy been my nearest and 
dearest relation I could not have felt more attached than 
I was to him. He appeared delighted at my answer, and 
after a pause, looking wistfully in my face, and with some 
hesitation, he said what he wanted was that I should leave 
the Plassey and go home with him in the Cruttenden. 

This request, so wholly unexpected and unlocked for, sur- 
prized and in some measure vexed me, for although I should 
have been happy at being with him, I felt it would be as un- 
grateful as improper in me after Captain WaddelTs repeated 
kindnesses to me, thus to quit his ship, and even had my 
respect for him not operated Captain Baker was not exactly 



230 MEMOIRS OP WILLIAM HICKEY 

a man to my liking. Though always polite to me, there 
was an obsequiousness, a fawning manner mixed with much 
Scotch pride, that rendered him contemptible in my eyes. 
I stated my objections, touching upon the awkwardness 
(was no other impediment in the way) of forcing myself 
upon Captain Baker unasked. But the little monkey was 
prepared for this and exultingly replied, " My dearest 
Hickey, never waste a thought upon such a wretch, such a 
beastly swab as Baker, who will be proud of and flattered 
by the arrangement," and he took out of his pocket a letter 
from Captain Baker to me, couched in the most friendly 
language, after many high flown compliments adding that 
if I would do him the honour to proceed to England on his 
ship, half the round house, or the whole of the great cabin, 
would be at my service, and he should endeavour to make 
every thing as agreeable to me as possible during the 
voyage. This letter shewed how much he yielded to keeping 
the favourable opinion of his guinea pig that he might 
thereby preserve his interest with the family, for one of his 
failings was a love of money, and that to so powerful a degree 
as to make him guilty of twenty shabby actions that de- 
servedly brought him into disgrace with all the gentlemen 
of Canton. 

With considerable difficulty I at last convinced my young 
favorite that I could not leave the Plassey, but he wept 
bitterly in the moment he admitted the reasonableness 
of my arguments, and urged me still to endeavour to 
accomplish the change by obtaining Captain Waddell's 
consent. Having obtained my promise to that effect, he 
reluctantly left me. Two hours afterwards Captain Waddell 
called upon me to say Pott had just been with him to 
entreat he would allow me to go home in the Cruttenden, 
that upon his refusal to part with me he had shewed so 
much distress as to occasion his present visit, which was 
to say that if it was my desire to change ships he could only 
lament, certainly not oppose it. I expressed my thanks 
and gratitude to him for the innumerable acts of kindness 
and friendship I had received from him, which I felt t<x> 



THE VISIT TO THE CRUTTENDEN 231 

sensibly for any consideration whatsoever to induce me 
to abandon the hospitable Plassey, and which ship, if my 
own inclination operated, should certainly convey me back 
to England. He seemed pleased with my manner, and 
declaring his wish to gratify me in all respects, took leave. 
Knowing the influence Mr. Wood had over Pott, I requested 
that gentleman to state to him how indelicate and im- 
proper it would be in me to give up my ship. This he 
(Mr. Wood) good naturedly did, but told me what he had 
urged upon the subject was most ungraciously received by 
Robert, and although the dear boy agreed in the sentiments 
both he and I expressed he never ceased importuning me 
on the subject during his stay at Canton. Finding he must 
fail in having me for a shipmate, he then solicited me to 
accompany him to Whampoa and at least one day on their 
way from thence, which I willingly acquiesced in, con- 
soling him by the probability of our overtaking him before 
he left St. Helena, from the superiority of the Plassey's 
sailing. 

Early on the 5th of December 1769, Pott and I left 
Canton, and in an hour after we reached the Cruttenden 
they got under way, dropping down close to the first Bar, 
where the pilot brought to for the night. At supper 
another guinea pig of Captain Baker's seemed disposed to 
ridicule Bob's melancholy, which made the latter rally and, 
at least, affect something like cheerfulness. Turning to me, 
he said, "Do you see this sneaking reptile, who, though 
twice my size, like a dastard as he is, suffers me to correct 
his insolence by manual chastisement, which I have often 
been obliged to do, and unless he ceases his present insolent 
and vacant grin, I shall give you ocular demonstration of 
it by drubbing him heartily." The other lad immediately 
assumed a very grave look, and Bob continued, "The 
fellow's name is Wakeman. He is intended for a seaman, 
but I much doubt whether even the brilliant talents of my 
able commander there, (pointing ludicrously to Captain 
Baker who was at the table) will ever be able to make him 
TOO," 



232 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Captain Baker angrily said : 

" Pott, your impertinence is unbounded. It would be 
well for you to take a leaf out of Wakeman's book, who 
is in every point above you." 

Bob, with a loud laugh, replied : 

" Take a leaf out of that fellow's book ! Damn me, 
if the whole book with his contemptible body and bones 
into the bargain is worth a single copper " (the lowest coin 
of China). 

Captain Baker shook his head, saying, cc I blush for you, 
sir." 

" Aye," retorted Bob, " like a blue dog, but spare your 
blushes on my account. Your dirty lambkin there (point- 
ing to Wakeman) needs them all." 

I remained on board the Oruttenden until after dinner 
of the following day, the 6th, when I got into my sampan, 
slept on board the Plassey that night, and next day re- 
turned to Canton. I missed my lively companion exceed- 
ingly, as did every body who knew the boy, 



CHAPTER XIX 

THE RETURN TO ENGLAND 

FROM the day that the cold weather commenced Mc- 
Clintock's health improved, and early in December he 
was as stout and well as ever he had been in his life. He 
had, however, such a liking to the Plassey, and all belonging 
to her, as to make him determine to return to Madras via 
England, rather a round about road to be sure, but he said 
he adopted it in support of the adage, "The farthest way 
about is the shortest way home." We all rejoiced at his 
so determining, for he was an uncommon fine young man* 

My cash being all expended, I was under the necessity 
of drawing upon my father for one hundred and fifty 
pounds, though I was almost ashamed to dp so after the 
enormous expence I had put him to. 

On the 15th Captain Waddell informed McClintock and 
me he would convey us on board the following day in his 
barge. We therefore spent that morning in taking leave 
of our foreign acquaintances, especially Mr. Chambers, the 
chief Swedish supercargo, also the Dutch chief, both of 
whom had behaved with the utmost politeness to us. 
After breakfast of the 16th, having offered our acknowledg- 
ments to all the English gentlemen, most of whom accom- 
panied us down to the water side, we embarked, whereupon 
they cheered us, we and our boat's crew returning the com- 
pliment. Thus I left Canton where I had spent four months 
very happily, having been received with a hospitality and 
kindness nothing could exceed. We reached the Plassey 
to dinner, (the anchors being then apeak) and dropped 
down the river until dark, when we anchored for the night. 
At day break of the 17th we weighed, running down at a 
great rate. In the evening being off Macao, the pilot left 
us, We then hove to until the next morning, when we raa 

233 



234 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

out to sea. In the course of the day the wind headed us, 
and we found from the lightness of a tea cargo that the 
ship was very crank, laying along more than was pleasant. 
In consequence of this a consultation was held by the 
Captain and officers to determine whether it would be most 
prudent to proceed on the voyage or return into port to 
alter the stowage. One mate only (the fifth) was of opinion 
the most prudent step would be to go back to Macao ; all 
the rest thought otherwise, and that by moving some of the 
water and striking the guns into the hold the ship would bo 
rendered sufficiently stiff to enable her to carry sail. Those 
measures were immediately carried into effect, and with 
every success that could be wished or expected. We ex- 
perienced fine weather the whole run to the latitude of the 
Cape of Good Hope, amusing ourselves by fishing, firing 
at sharks, and all the usual pastimes practised on board 
ship in order to beguile the time. 

Off the Cape we had a smart adverse puff from the N.W., 
luckily only of twenty four hours 5 duration. On the 20th of 
February 1770 at day break we made the Island of St. 
Helena, and at the same time a strange sail appeared upon 
our starboard beam, standing also for the Island. At noon 
we spoke her and found her to be our old companion, the 
Hampshire. This was an extraordinary circumstance con- 
sidering the difference of the two ships' voyages, she having 
been to Bombay and Bengal, we to Madras and China. She 
had several Bengal gentlemen on board, passengers, par- 
ticularly the Company's Commander in Chief of the army, 
General Richard Smith, a famous character in more ways 
than one. At two in the afternoon we were wcU in with 
the land, which presents a most barren and wretched 
appearance. Both ships then hove to, each sending in a 
boat to announce the vessel's name and other particulars 
respecting them. This is done to prevent surprize, and with- 
out that preliminary step no ship is permitted to pass the 
several batteries. Upon the return of the boats we made 
sail, standing so close to a bluff point of the Island that I 
could h^ve thrown a stone on shore. Having passed this 



ST. HELENA 235 

desolate looking rock a beautiful valley opened to the sight, 
abounding with luxuriant verdure. The contrast, so sudden 
and so striking, struck us all with admiration. Down this 
valley the wind rushed with such violence as almost tc 
lay the ship upon her broadside, although we had only the 
top sails set, and those double reefed. Passing the valley 
we were nearly becalmed by another high rock, and 
thus alternately mountain and vale three different times, 
when we opened the valley in which the town stands, 
which forms a very romantic and pleasing view. We 
found only one small vessel at anchor in the roads. 

This little speck of land in the midst of an immense 
ocean is in the latitude, nearly, of sixteen degrees South, 
and longitude about six degrees West of Greenwich, it 
laying in the strength of the South East Trade wind. There 
is no anchorage, except on a small and steep bank directly 
to leeward of the town. Ships are consequently obliged 
to hug the land very close in going in, or they would be in 
danger of missing the bank altogether. It frequently 
happens that after vessels have let go their anchors and 
brought up, the violent and sudden gusts of wind from 
between the mountains force them off soundings by 
dragging their anchors, or, sometimes, parting the cables, 
and as the current sets strongly to leeward, it becomes 
tedious and difficult to beat up again. The climate is 
temperate and pleasant ; they scarcely ever have thunder 
or lightning, nor had they for twenty years before I was 
there experienced any thing like tempestuous weather. 

Captain Waddell sent on shore to take lodgings for him- 
self, McClintock, and me, which having procured, we landed, 
and went to take possession of them at the house of a Mr. 
Greentree. There we found very commodious and com- 
fortable apartments, fitted up in the style of English houses. 
The morning after our arrival we went to visit Mr. 
Skottowe, Governor of the Island, and Mr. Corneille, the 
Lieutenant Governor, the latter appearing to be a well 
mannered, accomplished gentleman. He informed us that 
there were several Bengal passengers who had been at 



236 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

St. Helena many weeks, having come there in the Talbot, 
commanded by Sir Charles Hudson, which ship had been 
extremely unfortunate, having encountered dreadful storms 
off the Mauritias and the Cape, and suffered so much in the 
latter they were in imminent danger of foundering, and 
obliged to bear up and run back to St. Augustin's Bay on 
Madagascar, to refit, which being completed they renewed 
their voyage, and again met with a tremendous gale off 
the Cape, wherein they lost their topmasts and main yard, 
and shipped such heavy seas as to wash away their whole 
live stock. After buffeting about an unusual time they at 
last, almost starved, reached St. Helena, having been 
upwards of eleven months on their passage from Bengal. 
So completely tired were they of the Talbot and the bad 
luck that seemed to follow her, as to determine to quit her, 
and wait the chance of proceeding to England by some less 
unfortunate ship. Amongst these passengers was Mr. Fran- 
cis Charlton, whom I have before mentioned as having been 
sent to Bengal through my father's interest. He had acquired 
a large fortune, to enjoy which he was going home. Upon 
returning to our lodgings I found him at the door. Having 
seen my name in the list of those arrived the preceding day, 
he had called to ascertain who I was. Upon hearing that 
I was the son of his father's old friend, and who had obtained 
him a writership, he was very kind, offering me any sum 
of money I might require, gratefully acknowledging the 
obligation he was under to my father whom he considered 
the founder of his fortune. In appearance he was an 
emaciated, sallow, and miserable object, but said be felt 
wonderfully recovered since his residence at St. Helena. 

Being invited to dine at the Governor's, we there met 
all the gentlemen that were sojourners, of course, General 
Smith amongst the number, who betrayed an insolent 
superiority and superciliousness that offended every body. 
To me that knew his origin, the old adage recurred, " Set 
a beggar on horseback, and he'll ride to the devil." This 
insolent man's father kept a little cheese monger's shop in 
Jermyn Street, St. James's market, where Dick was an 



GENERAL RICHARD SMITH 237 

apprentice, but turning out a sad profligate scapegrace, 
committing some atrocious acts that endangered his neck, 
the unhappy parent, in order to prevent an untimely exit, 
obtained a Cadetship to India for him, a situation in those 
days not so much sought after as in later times. The young 
sinner entered upon his new vocation with ardour and zeal, 
and became so excellent a soldier as entirely from his own 
merit as such to rise to command the army of Bengal. His 
manners, however, in each gradation were disagreeable, and 
peculiarly so to those he considered his inferiors. His pride 
sometimes met with little rebuffs, as in the following 
instance. During the period the army was under his com- 
mand, being upon actual service in the field against the 
Bohillas, in the severe heats of May, when a man could 
scarce respire, a young Irishman of the name of Hunt, fresh 
imported from dear Dublin, was shewn into his tent, where 
he delivered some letters he had brought out from persons 
of rank to the General. Breakfast , being over, and the 
intense heat making the Commander more irascible than in 
ordinary, he felt no inclination to be civil to poor Paddy, 
angrily observing the hour of visiting was passed, but as 
Hunt paid no attention to this remark, and the General 
wished probably to treat the bearer of letters from men of 
consequence with more than his common courtesy because 
his introducers were in high life, he condescended to ask 
Hunt if he had breakfasted, and being answered in the 
negative, an aide-de-camp was summoned to make tea. 
The young Hibernian having swallowed a plentiful quantity 
of the refreshing beverage, accompanied by a tolerable 
share of bread and butter, the pompous General thought 
it time for him to depart, and by way of hint, said, " Good 
morning to you, sir," rising from his chair. 

Hunt, without stirring from his, answered : 

" Good morning to you, sir." 

The General, astonished at so unusual a conduct, took a 
turn or two up and down the tent, then walking close up to 
Hunt, he again said : 

" Good morning to you, sir." 



288 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

" Good morning to you, sir/' repeated Hunt. 

Still more surprized, the General renewed his walk for 
two or three minutes, and marching close to his immoveable 
guest, he fiercely once more said, " Good morning." 

" Good morning, sir," mildly answered Hunt. 

Smith, in a violent rage, then said, " Pray, how the devil 
did you get here ? " 

" In a ship, sir." 

" In a ship ! God's blood ! what do you mean ? Don't 
you know you are four hundred miles from the sea ? " 

" Faith, and I do," said Hunt. 

" What is it you want, sir ? " 

" Troth, every thing, sir." 

" By God, you are a very extraordinary fellow. I dine 
out, sir, but if you want a dinner my servants shall prepare 
some for you." 

" Sir, I want dinner and supper, and lodging, and if you 
do not provide them I don't know who else will." 

This seemed to tickle the General's fancy, producing a 
smile, and, addressing his aide-de-camp, he directed him to 
take the young man to the Adjutant General who would 
station him to some corps and do all that was requisite. 
This order being given aloud, Hunt said : 

" Thank you ! Thank you/ 5 instantly adding, " Pray 
now, General, do you call this your winter or your summer ? " 

So ill timed a question, when every one was gasping for 
breath, proved too severe a trial for General Smith, who 
violently exclaiming, " By God, this is too much/' hastily 
quitted the tent. 

This young and uncouth Irishman became an excellent 
soldier, and early distinguished himself by extraordinary 
acts of gallantry in several severe conflicts with the enemy. 
He was soon a great favourite of General Smith's, who, 
unluckily for him, left India three years after his arrival, 
whereby he lost a friend who would have served him and 
promoted his interest. His own abilities, however, raised 
him to a situation of emolument, the duties of which being 
severe, and he always scrupulously performing them, his 



WHY CHEESE WAS NOT REQUIRED 289 

health was so materially impaired that he was, at the end 
of fifteen years' hard service (having then attained the rank 
of Captain) under the necessity of resigning his command, 
wherein he had done credit to himself and to his employers, 
being by his integrity highly respected by the natives. He 
went down to the Presidency in order to engage a passage 
in one of the homeward bound Indiamcn, taking up his 
abode in the house of Mr. George Elliot, an intimate friend. 
Unhappily, before the time of the ship's departure his 
indisposition proved fatal. Being given over by the 
physicians that attended him, he deaired I might be Rent 
for to draw his Will, for which he gave me instructions with 
as much perspicuity and good sens as if in full vigour of 
health. Whilst I was preparing the Will upon a table placed 
close to the couch on which he lay in an agony of pain, his 
malady being the liver, the two medical gentlemen who 
had attended came in, when both were of opinion he could 
not survive three hours. After the Will had been read 
over to him and another legacy added by his desire., he 
executed it as he lay, and in one hour afterwards breathed 
his List. I have hero greatly trespassed upon the order of 
time, but I thought it better at once to finish my account 
of this singular man. 

When the meat was removed from the table at (he dinner 
I was speaking of at St. Helena, the Governor expressed 
his concern to General Smith that neither of the Btoro ahips 
were yot arrived, consequently there wan not a bit of choose 
upon the Island. The following day tho name party dined 
with Mr. Corneille, and the good naturod Governor renewed 
his concern at the want of cheese, to which tho General 
answered he was indifferent about cheese, nor should ho 
much caro if he never saw any. Tho third day we again met 
at Mr. Skottowe's, and again the lamentation for the want 
of cheese, whereupon tho pompous military hero angrily 
said, " Damn the cheese. Why do you continue plagucing 
me, Hir, with your want of cheese when I have HO often told 
you 1 don't earo two pence about it." Tho mild (Jovemor, 
who was unacquainted with the circuniBtauco o his guest's 



240 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

having formerly had so much to do with cheese, seemed 
greatly distressed at the General's violence, and made many 
apologies for unintentionally giving offence. Several of the 
company could scarcely preserve their gravity at the 
ridiculousness of the scene, which evidently mortified the 
pride of the ci devant cheese monger ! 

In the morning of the 23rd (of February) the Cruttenden 
came in. I went on board the moment she anchored, and 
found my young favorite in fine health and Spirits. Having 
prepared a trunk of clothes, I took him on shore with me 
to Mr. Greentree's, where he remained, delighted at once 
more being with me, and continued my guest and constant 
companion during my stay upon the Island. We passed 
our mornings riding about the country on horseback, and 
the rest of the day in convivial parties, with dances every 
evening, an amusement the damsels of St. Helena are very 
fond of. 

General Smith was, as we learned from his namesake, the 
Captain of the Hampshire, remarkably timorous on board 
ship. Whenever the wind blew at all fresh he became 
extremely uneasy and restless, continually, by night as well 
as day, running out upon deck to ask questions of the 
officers of the watch respecting the weather and state of the 
ship. Of the truth of this character he furnished un- 
deniable evidence himself by calling upon Captain Waddell 
in the most earnest manner, entreating that he would keep 
company with the Hampshire from St. Helena to England, 
which he said he should consider as a personal favour to 
himself. Captain Waddell gratified him much by consenting 
to comply with his desire. 

The 6th of March being appointed for the two ships 
sailing, the passengers of both were invited to dine that day 
with Mr. Corneille, there to meet and take leave of the 
Governor. This worthy and respectable gentleman (Mr. 
Skottowe) therefore called several times upon the General 
to learn at what hour he proposed to embark, that every 
compliment in his power to shew might be prepared. To 
this pointed civility the haughty Bengally paid no sort of 



A RUDE DEPARTURE 241 

attention, until, being pressed by Mr. Skottowe, lie pettishly 
said, "Sun set, sun set." We dined at two o'clock, and 
before four General Smith left the table saying he should 
return immediately, instead of doing which the Governor's 
servants came hastily into the room, telling him the General 
was at the water side, and the boat getting ready to take 
him off to the ship, upon which Mr. Skottowe, who was 
lame, instantly rose and hobbled after him, much against 
the will and advice of his lieutenant, Mr. Corneille, who 
earnestly entreated him not to move, and let the gentleman 
steal ofi, unnoticed and unattended, as , such seemed to be 
his wish ; further observing that his whole conduct while 
at the Island had been so insolent and unbecoming as in his 
opinion to render him unworthy of the least respect or 
compliment , and none therefore should he receive from him. 

Mr. Skottowe, to these remarks, answered that it was to 
the rank and station the General filled, not to the individual, 
he wished to pay respect, and under that impression he 
followed to the sea side. Pott and I did the same, to see 
how the fellow would comport himself. Just as Mr. 
Skottowe and we got to the wharf he had seated himself in 
the boat. Upon seeing the Governor, quite out of breath 
from the dispatch he had used, he coolly turned his head, 
saying, " You have given yourself a great deal of unneces- 
sary trouble, sir," and then, without even touching his hat, 
desired the cockswain of the boat to push off. Upon this 
impertinence being communicated to Mr. Corneille, he 
protested against any salute being fired, but without effect. 
Using the same argument as before, the Governor directed 
the customary number of guns to be given. 

As I had been informed we were not to sail until the 
following morning I did not go on board until after mid- 
night, staying so late at the particular request of Pott. I 
certainly never left a place in which I had resided a fort- 
night with so little regret as I did St. Helena. Tho 
comforts it affords are few indeed ; scarce any fruit, bad 
bread, and no fresh butter. Yet the charges made for 
every article of life were -enormously high. Pott aecom- 



242 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

panied me on board, and slept upon a couch in our cabin. 
At day break we got under way, and lie bid me adieu, 
promising to call in St. Albans Street within twelve hours 
after he should reach London. The Cruttenden was to re- 
main ten days longer at St. Helena. 

The Hampshire kept up tolerably well, and witli our 
glasses we often saw the coxcomb General looking at us. 
On the llth we made the Island of Ascension, famous 
for the fineness of the turtle caught there. The two 
Commanders had agreed to stop one night for a supply 
of that rich and esteemed food. We anchored within half 
a mile of the shore about two in the afternoon, close 
to each other. McClintock and I accompanied our Com- 
mander to the Hampshire. Captain Waddell recommended 
every body's staying quietly on board, the day being 
too far advanced to land with a prospect of succeeding 
in cur object, experience having taught him that if the 
least movement of boats or people took place in the 
afternoon the turtle were alarmed and not one of them 
would leave the water. General Smith chose to ridicule 
such an idea, and Captain Smith } thinking it was founded 
in mistake, his boats with the General immediately went 
on shore. I went with Mr. Chisholme, Captain Waddell 
assuring us we should not see a single turtle. 

We landed upon a fine regularly sloping beach, 
entirely covered, and to the depth of several feet, with 
a beautiful little shell white as snow, and not larger 
than a middling sized pin's head. The Island shews not 
the least sign of vegetation, being entirely covered with 
a kind of pumice stone, evidently of a volcanic quality. It 
is said not a drop of fresh water is to be found, and we 
saw nothing like a spring. 

Chisholme conducted us to what they called " The Post 
Office. 55 This was a hole dug slanting in a large piece 
of stone, in which was placed a large mouthed bottle, like 
those used for mustard, and from which bottle we took a 
letter written by an officer of the Ankerwylce East India- 
man, addressed to " The next comers," saying the above 



TURNING THE TURTLE 243 

ship had stopped there in the preceding month of January 
and had carried off ninety turtle. These animals quit the 
water, and slowly creep up the beach from sunset until it 
becomes dark, there making a hole in which they deposit 
their eggs, but if anything occurs to alarm them they 
remain in the sea, which appears to be their natural element. 
We continued looking out till past eight o'clock, when 
heartily tired of the watching, 1 returned to the Plassey. 
The Hampshire's people stayed the whole night without 
seeing a single turtle. 

Early the next morning Captain Smith came on board our 
ship, requesting Captain Waddoll would undertake the man- 
agement that day, and his orders should be strictly adhered 
to. Captain Waddell then gave directions that a boat's crew 
from each ship should go on shore at one in tho afternoon, 
landing the men appointed to turn turtle, and return with 
the boats to the ships immediately, the people thus landed 
to amuse themselves upon the hills until an hour and a half 
before sunset, at which time they were without any hallooing 
or noise of any kind to return to tho sea side, and there lay 
down upon the beach close to the foot of tho rocky mountain, 
distant about three hundred yards from the water, where 
they were to remain perfectly still and quiet until they 
heard the turtle crawling up and digging their holes. As 
soon as they "thought an adequate number wore thus 
engaged, tho men were all to spring up, run as fast as 
possible to the turtle and commence turning them. This 
method was put in practice, and I joined tho turning party* 
Within a quarter of an hour after tho sun sunk below the 
horizon, we saw as we lay turtle innumerable slowly making 
their way tip the milk white bank, stopping midway between 
the sea and where we lay and there, with thoir fins, making 
holes about three feet deep to deposit their 6ggs in. In an 
hbur after, upon a gentle whistle, the signal agreed on, 
everybody jumped up as fast as possible, running towards 
the holes tho turtles were getting in, who upon tho first 
noise crept out of, these holes, making for tho sea with a 
rapidity if I had not seen I should not have conceived 



244 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

possible, throwing up showers of the little shells with their 
fins as they ran so that from their great weight and the 
velocity of their motion it became exceedingly difficult to 
stop their progress by turning them upon their backs. As 
near as I could form a guess not above one in twenty was 
thus secured, the rest making good their retreat. Upon 
counting we found thirty two turned, of which each ship 
had sixteen, weighing from four hundred weight to five 
hundred and fifty pounds each turtle. A letter was then 
written mentioning the ships' names, date, and number of 
turtle caught, which being deposited in the bottle, WQ 
aE reimbarked, reached our respective ships soon after 
midnight, and before one were under way, pursuing our 
course towards England. 

After leaving the Island of Ascension nothing worth 
recording happened until the llth of April, when we 
sounded, expecting to find the British bottom, but were 
disappointed. A fresh south west wind was then blowing, 
which at one in the afternoon suddenly shifted to North 
and by East, attended with sleet and snow. By three 
it increased to a hard gale. The weather having been 
dark and gloomy, we had not seen the sun the four pre- 
ceding days so as to get an observation, but by the dead 
reckoning we were in the latitude of Ushant, and of course 
had not the Channel sufficiently open to stand in with 
so strong a wind. We therefore lay to under a balanced 
mizen. The Hampshire, upon seeing this, came as close 
to us as she dare venture in such a high sea, and Captain 
Smith hailed, but the wind roared so loud all his attempts 
to make us hear what he said were ineffectual, and soon 
after, to the great surprize of our navigators, we saw the 
Hampshire set her main and fore top sails close reefed, 
with a reefed fore sail, and under that sail close hauled 
stand in for the Channel, an example Captain Waddell did 
not think it prudent to follow. We afterwards heard that 
although they succeeded, and thereby avoided a week of 
extreme bad weather, they had done so at an immense and 
unjustifiable risk. The object of Captain Smith when 



THE HAMPSHIRE'S PERIL 245 

speaking to us was to compare latitudes, and we also heard 
they reckoned themselves half a degree more to the north- 
ward than we did, consequently thought themselves 
sufficiently to windward to clear the French coast, and 
under that idea they stood on, conceiving we certainly 
should do the same. At day break the following morning 
Captain Smith discovered his error when too late to cure it, 
the rocks off Ushant being upon the lee quarter and 
stretching as far forward as the bow, so close aboard that 
they had no alternative but that of standing on under a 
press of sail thereby to endeavour to clear the danger, which 
happily they effected, but had any of the rigging given way, 
or a single sail split, or had the wind headed them even half 
a point only, they must inevitably have gone ashore upon 
the rocks off the coast of France, and in all probability every 
soul on board would have perished. Captain Smith told 
Captain Waddell that in the whole course of his life he had 
never been in so perilous a situation, that at day break 
when he saw a most tremendous sea dashing over the rocks 
within a mile to leeward of him, blowing as it then did, he 
thought it was all over with them, and would readily have 
given every guinea he possessed to have been where he had 
left the Plassey the evening before. I mention this circum- 
stance to shew the superior skill and judgment of Captain 
Waddell. 

In the present days no such difficulty as occurred to us 
from the wind preventing our hearing what was said from 
the Hampshire can happen, as by the telegraphic signals 
now established and in general use, ships can communicate 
what they wish to be known to the Fleet, or any particular 
vessel, at a distance of ten or twelve miles, and with great 
quickness. I have lately seen a conversation (if it may be so 
called) kept up at sea when the fleet were laying to in a 
severe gale, and it would have been utterly impossible to 
Bpeak each other. 

As the gale increased the sea became extremely high and 
confused, occasioning the ship to labour prodigiously. 
During four nights the motion was so violent, and the 



246 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

strokes the sea almost every minute gave the ship so 
terrific, I got no sleep. On the fifth, nature being nearly 
exhausted, I had fallen into a doze as I lay upon my cot 
from which I was suddenly roused by, as I firmly believed, 
the ship's going to pieces. I heard a dreadful crash, and 
found my cot jammed, immoveably fixed, by what I had no 
doubt was the planks of her deck fallen in, some of which 
lay across me with a ponderous weight I could scarce 
breathe under. Expecting a rush of water every moment 
to overwhelm me, I lay gasping, when, the ship taking a 
deep roll the contrary way, relieved me of my load. Wonder- 
ing what all this could mean, and still imagining death to be 
inevitable, I was agreeably surprized at seeing our cabin 
door open, and Chisholme with a candle and lantern in his 
hand, calling out, " Well, my lads, how fare you in this 
confusion ? What do you think of the last dip ? Hang 
me, if I did not think she was over." This was a most 
welcome sound to me who supposed the ship had gone to 
pieces. 

Chisholme, coming close to my bed, suddenly exclaimed, 
Cf Zounds ! what's the matter ? What's the meaning of all 
this ? " and away he darted, returning in a few seconds with 
Gowdie (the Surgeon), and two or three people with lights, 
when my alarm was renewed by perceiving my shirt and 
bed clothes covered with blood. I knew not from whence it 
proceeded, but the Doctor soon discovered the sanguinary 
stream issued from my head. He immediately cut off the 
hair, of which I had then an immense quantity, and, while 
examining the wound with his instruments as well as the 
dreadful motion would allow, he asked me whether I felt 
at all sick at the stomach. I answered, as the fact was, 
" exceedingly so," and as I had often heard sickness was 
one of the symptoms of a fractured skull, I concluded mine 
was shattered. Gowdie having summoned his assistant, 
they together probed the wound, and at the end of half an 
hour, which circumstanced as I was appeared an age, he 
comforted me by saying, " Thank God, the skull is safe, 
but you have a desperate wound and have lost so much 



A DAMAGED HEAD 247 

blood as must weaken you to a great degree, and will 
require your being kept very quiet." Quiet and the then 
state of the ship appeared to me to be perfectly incom- 
patible ; he however dressed my head, made the servants 
put clean clothes upon the bed and myself, and making me 
swallow two pills bid me lay still. 

Prejudiced as I was against the possibility of rest, I 
nevertheless within an hour went into a sleep so profound 
I knew of nothing that occurred for the following twenty 
four hours, at the end of which I awoke refreshed, but 
with a dreadful head ache. The Doctor being summoned 
told me not to mind the head ache, which proceeded from 
the large quantity of opium he had given me, and which 
had so well answered the purpose that all risk was over, 
and that a few hours, with strong coffee drank frequently, 
would relieve me, all which was verified, and I had the 
satisfaction to hear the gale had broke up. 

McClintock and I had two thirds of the starboard side 
of the great cabin. The remainder, except a passage to 
the Quarter gallery, was converted into a sail room. 
Between the beams and the deck of that part so uned 
for keeping sails in, there was stowed planks of rose 
wood, each plank of an enormous weight, which Captain 
Waddell was taking to England as part of his private trade, 
These planks were supposed to have boon iminoveably fixed 
in, being secured by strong battens nailed across them from 
one beam to the other. The ship, however, laboured in so 
extraordinary a manner, at times being quite down upon 
her broadside, that the rose wood forced of! the Gleets, 
slipping through into our cabin, passing over Mr, McClintock 
whose cot was hung close to the bulkhead, without touching 
him, and going directly across mine, in doing which one of 
them came in contact with my unfortunate skull* The 
wonderful part of the story was that it did not beat my head 
to atoms. The Doctor and his mate having taken off the 
dressing and examined the wound, pronounced it to bo 
doing as well as could be hoped for or expected. Having 
token a basin of weak ohickea broth, in a few hows the 



248 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Doctor gave me another opium pill, which secured me a 
good night's sleep, and the next morning I felt quite a 
different body. Gowdie told me when he first saw the 
wound he had no doubt but that the skull was badly 
fractured. I rather think it was slightly injured, because 
for years afterwards if I caught the slightest cold that part 
of my head became so exceedingly tender and susceptible I 
could not bear a comb to touch it, which was the only 
inconvenience I ever experienced from the accident. 

Two days after this mishap the wind veered round to the 
Westward and enabled us to stand for the Channel. The 
18th we struck soundings in seventy fathoms, and the 
following morning had the pleasure to see a fine English 
cutter of one hundred and fifty tons burthen within a 
quarter of a mile of us, from which a man came in a small 
boat on board the Plassey. He was of a Herculean form, 
with a healthy ruby face. From his dress and appearance I 
should not have supposed he possessed ten pounds in the 
world. Captain Waddell conducted him into the Bound 
house, where the following short dialogue ensued : 

Stranger : " Well, Captain, how is tea ? " 

Captain : " Twenty pounds." 

Stranger : " No, that won't do. Eighteen a great 
number of China ships this season." 

Captain : " Very well, you know best." 

Stranger : " How many chests ? " 

Captain : " Sixty odd." 

Stranger : " Come, bear a hand then and get them into 
the cutter." 

By this I found our new visitor was a smuggler. The 
foregoing was all that passed in completeing the sale and 
purchase of so large a quantity of tea. In the same laconic 
manner he bought the stock of the different officers. 

While the tea was hoisting out of the gun room and other 
places it had been stowed in, Captain Waddell asked the 
smuggler whether there was any public news, to which he 
at first answered : 

" No, none that I know of," but immediately after, as if 



THE SMUGGLER'S DEAL 249 

recollecting himself, he added, " Oh yes, I forgot. Wilkes is 
made King." 

" Wilkes made King ! " (exclaimed every one present), 
cc What can you mean ? " 

"Damn me if I understand much of these things," 
(replied the man), " but they told me the mob took him out 
of prison and made him King that's all I know." 

A thick haze that had prevailed all the morning just then 
cleared away, and we saw the land (the Lizard) not more than 
four leagues distant. The cutter at the same time hailed to 
inform their Chief they saw the Albert (custom house 
schooner) to the southward. 

" Do you, by God," replied he, and taking a spying glass 
from one of the officers, looked through it in the direction 
pointed out, directly saying, " Aye, aye, sure enough there 
she comes and under a cloud of canvas." Turning to 
Captain Waddell he continued, " Come, Captain, you must 
haul off the land another league or so, and then let him 
fetch us with all my heart." 

Captain Waddell appearing to hesitate as to complying, 
the man hastily said, 

"He can seize me at this distance from our coast. If 
therefore you don't stand farther off I must leave you." 

Captain Waddell then desired the officer of the watch to 
brace the yards and keep the ship up a couple of points, 
which being done, in an hour and a half the smuggler said : 

" Now, Captain, let them come and be damned, you may 
keep your course again." 

The schooner was then within two miles, and in another 
hour came dashing by close to us in a noble style, and hove 
to upon our weather bow, when a most capital exchange of 
naval blackguardism took place between the smuggler's crew 
and the schooner, continuing a full hour, but as the Plassey 
was then beyond the stated limits they could not molest the 
cutter, and remained only to have the mortification of 
seeing a large quantity of goods transferred from the ship to 
her. At length they sheered off, when the smuggler 
observed : 



250 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

" The fellow that commands her is one of the damnedest 
scoundrels that lives, and the only rascal amongst them 
that I cannot deal with, though I have bid roundly too." 

I do not remember the name of this extraordinary 
revenue officer, or I would mention it, as, I am afraid, a rare 
instance of integrity in his line. 

Captain WaddeU asked the smuggler whether he had 
recently sustained any loss by the Government vessels, to 
which he answered : 

" No, nothing material this long time. I had a seizure 
of between five and six hundred pounds ten days ago, but 
nothing of importance for a twelvemonth," by which it was 
evident he considered five or six hundred pounds no object. 

The tea being all removed to the cutter, pen, ink, and 
paper was produced ; the smuggler sitting down at a table 
in the Round house calculated the amount due for his 
purchase, which Captain Waddell admitting correct, he 
took from his pocket book a check, which filled up for 
twelve hundred and twenty four pounds, he signed and 
delivered to the Captain. I observed it was drawn upon 
Walpole and Company, Bankers in Lombard Street, and 
was astonished to see Captain Waddell with the utmost 
composure deposit it in his escritoire. The smuggler then 
being asked whether he chose a glass of wine or would stay 
dinner, he answered he could not afford to lose a minute 
so must be off, but would take a drap of brandy. The 
liquor being brought he chucked off a bumper, the servant 
directly filling a second. " That's right, my good fellow," 
(said he) " always wet both eyes." He swallowed the second 
and returned to his cutter. The moment he departed I 
asked Captain Waddell whether he felt secure in a draft 
for so large a sum by such a man as that, to which he 
answered, "Perfectly, and wish it was for ten times as 
much, it would be duly paid. These people always deal 
with the strictest honour. If they did not their business 
would cease." For what he purchased from the officers 
he paid in guineas, to the amount of upwards ol eight 
hundred. 



CHAPTER XX 

IN LONDON AGAIN 

ON the 20th of April 1770 we arrived off Dover, from 
whence a pilot came and took charge of the ship. In 
his boat McClintock and I went on shore to proceed by land 
to London. Our voyage from China to England, including 
the stay at St. Helena, and notwithstanding the week we 
lay to in the chops of the Channel in bad weather, was 
performed in four months and four days, then the shortest 
that ever had been made by an Indiaman. 

We dined and slept at the Ship Inn at Dover, and the 
next morning set off in a post chaise and four for London, 
where we arrived at six the same evening. I ordered the 
chaise to my old place of resort, Malby's, ordered supper 
and sent for Brent, who within an hour had me in her arms, 
appearing rejoiced although surprized to see me thus early 
returned. After supper with us and drinking a few glasses 
of wine McClintock retired to the Hummums (where no 
women were ever admitted) to sleep. When we thus 
reached London I had twenty seven guineas in my pocket, 
and felt no inclination to leave Malby's while any of it 
remained. The two first days I did not stir from the 
house, McClintock eating and spending most of his time 
with us. The third morning, for the sake of a little 
variety, I sallied forth cap a pie in my Madras regimen- 
tals, intending to accompany Brent to Westminster Abbey, 
and to take a coach at the first stand we came to, 
Going along the Piazza chatting to Brent, who had hold 
of my arm, I suddenly saw directly before me and coming 
towards us, my father ! Not doubting but he recognised 
me, I instantly slipped away from Brent, intending to address 
him as if that moment arrived, but when close to him I saw 
Ms mouth going at a great rate, talking to himself and 

251 



252 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

deeply wrapt in his own tliouglits. I therefore marched 
by without further notice. Brent, frightened out of her 
wits, insisted upon instantly going back to Malby's, and 
avoiding all further risk of discovery. 

At dinner McClintock said he had that day been told 
that the Ombres GMnois was an entertainment worth 
seeing, and he intended going to it in the evening, upon 
which I determined to accompany him. At six o'clock he, 
Brent and myself got into a hackney coach and proceeded 
to Panton Street, where the exhibition was. We found 
the room nearly full, and with difficulty procured seats. 
About an hour after we had been there Brent eagerly laid 
hold of my arm, and pointing to a gentleman who sat 
on the same row only four from us, said " My God, there 
is your brother." I leaned forward, and sure enough there 
was Joseph, looking very attentively at us, but as he did 
not seem disposed to speak or take the least notice of me, 
I concluded he was indignant at the foolish and unprofit- 
able voyage I had made, and would not acknowledge me. 
I therefore resolved to let him sulk on. Brent pressed me 
to leave the place, which I peremptorily refused to do, and 
we sat out the entertainment. However, as I took it for 
granted my brother would mention his having seen me, 
I thought it prudent no longer to absent myself, and next 
morning I went to St. Albans Street, where I was received 
by my dearest father more graciously than I had any right 
to expect. He told me they had for several days been in 
expectation of seeing me, Mr. Charlton having informed 
them of my return by the Plassey, which ship's arrival they 
had seen announced in the newspapers. By this it appeared 
that my brother Joseph had not betrayed me, for which 
I felt obliged and grateful. I however discovered soon after 
that I had given him credit for what he did not deserve and 
that he actually did not recognize me at the Ombres Chinois. 
He told me himself he was looking at Brent, with whom 
he observed an officer, but he had no more idea of its being 
me than the Emperor of China. 

To account for my being so long in getting home I had 



A SERIOUS LECTURE 258 

recourse to falsehood, telling my father that I had come 
round in the ship to Gravesend to save the expence of 
travelling. For such a deviation from veracity I ought 
to blush, but alas that was only one of many occasions I 
had to be ashamed of myself. Mr. Oharlton, to whom at 
St. Helena I had related what his brother in law, Mr, 
Dawson, had said relative to my coming to India as a 
cadet, had prepared my father for my return, and good 
naturedly attempted to exculpate me, under such circum- 
stances, from blame. 

The day after my arrival in St. Albans Street my 
father addressed me very gravely and truly, representing 
the enormous expence incurred in equipping me for the 
East Indies, the whole of which was wantonly thrown 
away by my hasty and inconsiderate abandonment of 
the provision made for me in the army. He further said 
it appeared to Mm that I had only visited Asia for the 
purpose of shewing myself there as an English Nabob. 
Ho then desired to know what line of life I intended 
to pursue for my future subsistence, to which question I 
answered my wish was a situation in the Civil service at 
Bengal, but such a nomination my father seriously assured 
me it was not in his power to obtain, that he would exert 
all his interest to get me exchanged from the Madras army 
to that of Bengal, which, should he not succeed in, he saw 
nothing left for me but to return forthwith to Fort St. 
George, as he could not, in justice to the rest of his family, 
allow me to relinquish the Commission, the attainment of 
wliich had cost him so large a sum of money. The next 
day he went among his India friends in the City, and on 
his return told me that Sir George Colebrooke, Mr, Sullivan, 
and every person he had spoken to on the subject wore 
much offended by the step I had taken and advised my 
going ba.ck to Madras, as a transfer to any other of the 
Sottlcmonts would not be permitted. My father also said 
my ill judged return became the more serious and unlucky 
from three great friends of his, Messrs. Vansittart, Scrafton, 
and Ford, having sailed for India a few months before in 



254 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

the Aurora Frigate, as supervisors general of all the Com- 
pany's Oriental possessions, of course, with unlimited 
powers, all three of whom had faithfully promised to pro- 
vide for me ; that having absurdly deprived myself of such 
an opportunity of being essentially served was most un- 
fortunate, and all I had for it was to endeavour to regain 
my station at Madras before the supervisors left it ; that all 
the Company's ships of the season had already sailed, but 
he understood one of His Majesty's vessels would be sent 
off with dispatches within a month, respecting which he 
would make further enquiries. 

I could not feel otherwise than vexed at having lost so 
extraordinary an advantage as the patronage of the super- 
visors. Subsequently, however, it turned out that the 
hopes of benefiting by their means would never have been 
realized. The Aurora made a nipitl and fine passage to 
the Good Hope, where they stopped for a supply of fresh 
provisions and water, being uncommonly crowded with 
passengers. She left the Cape in as high order in every 
respect as any ship that ever put to sea, and never was 
heard of more, although vessels were sent in every direction 
in search of her. The general opinion therefore was that 
she must have been destroyed by fire. Upwards of four 
hundred persons perished in her. 

About ten days after my arrival my father one day came 
home in great haste to say he had just received undoubted 
information that the Dolphin sloop of war would sail for 
the Eawfc Indies in a week, under the command of Captain, 
(afterwards Sir Digby) Dent, a gentleman he was un- 
acquainted, with,, but would write to my old friend, Captain 
Gambier, and Admiral Sir Samuel Cornish, to interfere in 
my favour. Captain Gambier, in answer, said he knew 
nothing of Dent, and could not apply ; Sir Samuel had only 
a slight knowledge of him. Ho however gave me a letter 
to Captain Dent, and therein said bo should consider it a 
favour done to hinwelf if ho would take me out to Madras 
This letter I left at Captain Dent's, being told he was not 
at home, and afterwards called three different times with- 



PROPOSED RETURN TO MADRAS 255 

out meeting with him, which my father imagined my own 
fault and insisted upon my being at his house before seven 
o'clock the next morning, and not quitting it until I had 
an interview. I obeyed in point of time ; his servant, with 
a smile, said his master was already out. I thought I under- 
stood the smile, and, presenting half a crown, begged leave 
to wait in the passage for his return. " That, sir," (said the 
man) " would cost me my place, but if you walk before the 
door a quarter of an hour you will see him come out in 
his uniform. He is now at breakfast and nearly done. My 
orders are upon no account to let any stranger have access 
to him, for that so many applications have been made to 
him for passages to India, if he complied with one third he 
ought to have the command of a first rate instead of a 
sloop." I did as the man directed and soon saw my gentle- 
man issue forth, to whom I marched up and accosted with : 

" I came, sir, by desire of Sir Samuel Cornish for an 
answer to a letter from him which I left with your servant 
yesterday, and called again three times without being ablo 
to see you." 

" Yes," said the Captain, and you might have called 
three hundred to as little purpose. It is utterly impossible 
for me to give written answers to the innumerable letters 
now addressed to me. Are you the person alluded to by 
Sir Samuel ? " 

I replied, " I was." 

" Then," rejoined he, " you are not aware, young gentle- 
man, of the thousandth part of the misery that awaits you 
should you be forced into my ship against my inclination- 
Hell will be nothing in comparison." 

I boldly replied, " No fear of that sort should deter 
me from going with him, and that as to being ill treated, 
unless I deserved it, I saw by the benignity of his counte- 
nance he was incapable of doing any one injustice." 

He smiled and seemed pleased by the compliment. 

" Well, Sir," said he, " present my respects to the Admiral 
and tell him I will endeavour to comply, though I cannot 
absolutely promise, having boon obliged to refuse a passage 



256 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

to a nephew of one of the Lords of the Admiralty to whom 
I am under personal obligations." 

Upon reporting to my father what had passed, he desired 
I would attend morning, noon, and night at the door of 
Captain Dent, until I obtained his order to be received on 
board the Dolphin. I accordingly did so, always addressing 
the Captain as he passed in or out. At last he said to me : 

" By God, you possess a good share of perseverance, and 
I believe I shall contrive to stow you amongst my mids 
(meaning midshipmen), but then you and your clothes 
must be on board at Deptford by noon to-morrow, as she 
will drop down from thence by one o'clock." 

To be ready in so few hours I deemed impossible, but 
my father instantly took me to Blunt's warehouse at 
Charing Cross, and there purchased some ready made 
shirts and other necessaries for the voyage. My former stock 
still remained at the India house, where they are always 
scandalously slow and dilatory in clearing the baggage of 
passengers. Having packed these things in a trunk, my 
father sent a servant with it to Hungerford stairs, where it 
was put into a wherry to convey it and me to the Dolphin 
at Deptford. The waterman, who knew perfectly well all 
that was requisite, asked me if I had an order for the trunk, 
&c., being received on board. Upon my replying in the 
negative, he said : 

" Then there will be no use in going along side, for damn 
the stitch they'll take in." 

Upon this I hurried away to Captain Dent's to ask for 
an order, but no Captain could I find, though I remained 
at the house until it was dark. I then returned home, and 
my father desired me to be at Captain Dent's at day light 
next morning to procure the order, if possible. If not, to 
proceed with my trunk to Deptford, and get on board the 
ship at any rate. I went, as desired, to Captain Dent's, 
where a female informed me he had given up the house two 
days before, and was gone, as she understood, to the Eestern 
Indees. Upon this intelligence I went to my wherry at 
Hungerford stairs, immediately departing for Deptford, 



THE CAPTAIN'S BAD FAITH 25? 

where upon my arrival I found the Dolphin had the pre- 
ceding day dropped down to Gravesend. To that place 
therefore I followed, and was there told she was at anchor 
in the lower Hope. My London waterman refused to go 
any farther, and I was obliged to hire a Gravesend boat in 
which I went to the Hope. Arriving along side the Dolphin 
late in the afternoon, the lieutenant in command received 
me with the utmost civility. Upon hearing my account, he 
politely said that as a visitor he should be glad to accommo- 
date me as long as I chose to stay, but receiving me, or my 
baggage, as a passenger without an order from Captain 
Dent was quite out of the question, and equally so was the 
possibility of my going to India in the ship, where there was 
not a single inch unoccupied. In vain I urged what had so 
recently passed between Captain Dent and me, and his 
promise to take me. 

" Oh, my good Sir," said the officer, " the Captain is so 
circumstanced as to have been obliged to make a hundred 
promises he at the time he made them knew he could not 
fulfil. I have already seen upwards of a score young 
gentlemen in the same predicament, equally disappointed 
as you are, every one of whom had an unqualified promise 
of a passage to India on board the Dolphin." 

He also told me that Captain Dent left town that day 
with the Government dispatches to meet the ship at Ports- 
mouth, which he had no doubt they should reach the 
following day. I had no alternative left, but requested the 
lieutenant would give me in writing that he had peremp- 
torily refused to receive me or my trunk on board the 
Dolphin, which he immediately did, and at eleven o'clock 
that night I got back to Gravesend, and the next day to 
London. 

As I had done every thing in my power no blame could 
attach to me in this instance, nor did my father accuse me, 
but he was highly offended at Captain Dent's behaviour, 
and directly took me with him to the Admiralty, where 
we ascertained all the lieutenant had told me was correctly 
true. A clerk whom my father was acquainted with in- 

8 



258 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM H1CKEY 

formed him that Captain Dent's conduct had been shameful, 
for during that morning and the preceding day many young 
men had been at the office with the Captain's order for their 
being received on board, in their hands, saying he had 
desired them to meet him at the Admiralty at stated hours, 
when he knew he should be at Portsmouth and beyond their 
reach. So much for the good faith of the worthy Captain 
Digby Dent ! 

My father observed to me that as seven or eight months 
must elapse before any of the Company's ships would sail, 
it was incumbent on me to employ myself usefully for that 
period, and not think of lounging about in dissipation and 
indolence. He also insisted upon my laying aside my 
military dress until I had a right to resume it, and recom- 
mended me to endeavour to acquire some knowledge of the 
laws of my country, which in every situation of life would 
be useful, employing some hours daily in the study of 
military tactics. I accordingly laid aside my cockade and 
red coat and once more took my seat at a desk. 

At the latter end of the month (April) the Cruttenden 
arrived, when Bob Pott called upon me and I introduced 
him to all my family, who were much pleased with him 
and made him stay to dinner. The next morning he came 
again, taking me to his father's house in Lincoln's Inn 
Fields, where I was very kindly received by Mr. and Mrs. 
Pott, and several of their daughters, as well as an elder 
and younger brother of Robert's. I dined with them, 
and in the evening accompanied Robert to Drury Lane 
theatre to see Garrick's famous pageant of the Stratford 
Jubilee, then in the height of its very long run ; it had 
been got up at prodigious expence, in commemoration of the 
rare talents of our celebrated dramatic author, Shake- 
speare. 

Scarce a day passed without Bob and me meeting ; 
I frequently dined at his father's, where I always received 
a hearty welcome from the whole family, especially Mr. 
Pott senior. But early in June I thought I perceived a 
change in his and others of the family's behaviour towards 



A SLANDER BROUGHT HOME 259 

me, which, daily became more evident. I often enquired of 
Eobert if he knew the reason of this alteration, when he 
answered he only guessed the cause, but should ascertain 
it to a certainty soon, and the moment he did so would 
inform me. A week afterwards he called to tell me it was 
that despicable scoundrel, Baker, who had been prejudicing 
his father by a thousand misrepresentations and falsehoods, 
recommending my acquaintance with him (Eobert) should 
be dropped as I was introducing him to improper company, 
and should be the ruin of him. Enraged at such baseness 
in Baker, who whenever I met him seemed happy to see me, 
and paid me a number of compliments, I waited upon 
Robert's father, to whom I represented how greatly I felt 
the alteration in his manners towards me lately, desiring 
to be informed of the occasion. This he evaded, assuring 
me he was not conscious of any alteration in his conduct. 
I expressed my surprize at hearing him gravely assert what 
he must feel conscious was not the fact, adding that I had dis- 
covered the calumniator in Captain Baker, whom I should call 
to account for his infamous and malignant slander of me. 
Mr. Pott endeavoured to dissuade me from resenting 
what had passed, respecting which I begged to judge 
for myself, and went immediately to Captain Baker's 
lodgings attended by Robert's elder brother, who accom- 
panied me at Robert's and my desire to witness what should 
pass. We found him at home. I directly charged him with 
his duplicity and baseness in unjustly traducing my charac- 
ter. He looked very silly, stammered out some incoherent 
words and, finally, positively denied ever having uttered 
a syllable to my prejudice, nor had he any cause for so 
doing. I then asked him whether he had not villified me to 
Mr. Pott, Senior, advising him to insist upon his son Robert's 
dropping my acquaintance, assigning reasons for such 
advice highly prejudicial to my character. The despicable 
wretch at once said, on his honour he had not, that he 
merely gave his opinion in consequence of Robert's natural 
volatility, that the less he was allowed to be abroad and in 
company the better. I remarked that I must despise the 



260 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

man who could give his honour to a deliberate lie, which, 
coarse as the term was, I verily believed to be the case with 
him, but as he chose now to deny the fact, it only remained 
for me to caution him never in future to mention my name 
with disrespect, as, if he did, and it came to my knowledge, 
I should treat him as he deserved. We then left him without 
any salutation, Mr. Pott, Junior, observing to me he had 
never seen so despicable a fellow as Baker, and he should re- 
late to his father most minutely the whole of the extra- 
ordinary scene he had just witnessed. This he faithfully 
did, and the next day I received a very kind note from 
Mrs. Pott requesting me to dine in Lincoln's Inn Fields, 
where I went, receiving a cordial welcome and hearty shake 
of the hand by Mr. Pott, but not a word passed respecting 
Baker, nor did I think it necessary to broach the disagree- 
able subject knowing the unfair suspicion to be done away. 
In May (1770) my much esteemed friend, McClintock, 
took leave of me, and embarked for India, having been little 
more than a month in England, but he was an uncommonly 
prudent young man and anxious to get back to his duty. 
With real grief I afterwards learnt that two days after 
landing in excellent health at Madras, he was attacked 
by one of the violent fevers of that inhospitable climate 
which in four and twenty hours terminated his valuable 
life. A more amiable and accomplished young man never 
existed. 



CHAPTER XXI 

THE FORRESTS 

Ethe Spring my father and throe sisters went to a house 
_ie had taken at Richmond. I then for the first time 
since my return made enquiries after my favourite Fanny 
Hartford, who I found had married a gentleman, of fortune 
who resided entirely in the country, and to the present day 
I have never heard more of her. 

I now renewed my acquaintance with many of my former 
companions, male and female, and frequented the same 
houses as previously to my visiting India, but not having 
similar resources as then I was often hard run for cash 
which drove me to various stratagems for " raising the 
wind" and enabling me nightly to attend some place of 
public amusement. I became a regular attendant at tho 
Euphrates Lodge of Bucks, also at the Battensea Red House 
meetings, the latter as much for the sake of the fair one I 
have already spoken of under the designation of " Silver 
tail," as for the exercise of field tennis. 

I introduced Bob Pott, at his earnest request, to Tethring- 
ton, who declared him to be the finest lad he had over mot 
with, and became greatly attached to him. 

During my Oriental trip my eldest sister, Mary, made 
some new acquaintances in whose society she spent much 
of her time. Amongst them were the Broadhead and 
Forrest families. With the Forrests my family were particu- 
larly intimate, and I soon, became equally so. It then 
consisted of the mother (Mrs. Forrest), tho mont extra- 
ordinary woman in respect of eccentricities that perhaps 
ever lived. When I first saw her she must have been near 
fifty, but was still beautiful Her father, whose name was 
Lynch, possessed a handsome property in the Island of 
Jamaica, when his lady being in a family way and her health 

261 



262 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

declining, he hurried her on board His Majesty's ship 
Augustus Frederick, with the Captain of which he was inti- 
mate, and during the passage to England Mrs. Lyncht was 
delivered of a daughter who became the Mrs. Forrest I am 
now speaking of. She was christened by the names of 
" Juliana," after one of her own relations, " Frederica " 
from the ship she was born on board of, " Marina " from 
coming into the world upon the ocean, and "Cecilia " after 
her mother. When I became acquainted she had eight 
children, the eldest married to the Honourable John Byng, 
brother and presumptive heir to Lord Viscount Torrington, 
Julia, still a spinster, Cecilia, lately become the widow of 
the Bight Honourable William Windham, Margaret, who 
died a few years since, a spinster, Harriet, married to a Mr. 
Maybank of Cornwall, and Augusta, married to Mr, Disney, a 
gentleman of fortune. The other two were sons, Arthur, the 
eldest, then about fifteen, at Harrow school, and Thomas, one 
year younger, a charming boy, who almost rivalled my early 
favourite, Pott, in my regard, and became equally attached 
to me. He had just entered the navy as a midshipman, his 
father then commanding the fleet on the Jamaica station. 

Poor Tom's career was short whilst in the prime of 
life, being a lieutenant on board Sir George Bodney's 
Flag ship in the first relief of Gibraltar, and consequently 
in the action that took place between the English and 
combined fleets of France and Spain, he was unfortu- 
nately the only officer of the Admiral's ship that received 
a wound. A shot shattered his leg so severely it was obliged 
to be amputated. He was landed at Gibraltar and con- 
veyed to the quarters of his brother Arthur, then a subaltern 
in one of the regiments doing duty in that garrison. The 
wound was thought to be doing well when a sudden and 
unfavourable change occurred, a violent fever ensued and 
proved fatal, depriving his family and the nation of a young 
man who, had it pleased the Almighty ruler of all things 
to have spared his life, would in all probability have risen 
to the head of, and proved an honour to, the British Navy. 

In the year 1770 Mrs. Forrest, with all her children except 



MRS. FORREST'S SPLENDOUR 263 

Mrs. Byng, resided in a magnificent house in James Street, 
Westminster, one front facing the Bird cage walk In St* 
James's park. Her establishment of servants and equipage 
were corresponding to the splendour of her mansion, and 
I was told that she lived at the rate of six thousand a year. 
She had likewise a fine country seat at Binfield in Berk- 
shire, with a large quantity of ground. This the Commo- 
dore (her father) had purchased some years before I knew 
them, and he made several additions and improvements 
to the house, building an entire suit of rooms connected 
with the old part by a noble picture gallery, a spacious 
drawing room, saloon, and music room, the latter an 
octagon lighted from a dome, the walls having fixed into 
them large paintings representing the different battles ho 
had been engaged in from the time he arrived at tho rank 
of Post Captain, particularly the famous one which did him 
so much honour off Cape Francois in the Island of St. 
Domingo, where three British Ships sought an engagement 
with, and beat, six French that quitted their harbour and 
run out to sea, not to fight, but to take our little squadron 
into port, not having an idea that three would presume to 
oppose or fire a gun at such fearful odds. 

Forrest, as commanding officer, carried a Commodore's pen- 
nant. He had been cruising off the harbour for several woolen, 
forming an absolute blockade of six line of battle ships and a 
multitude of small vessels therein anchored, with no more than 
four ships, two of them of seventy four, and two of sixty four 
guns, and one frigate. Having encountered several severe 
storms in which all his ships sustained material damage, 
one of the seventy four's so much as to be rendered incap- 
able of keeping the sea and to be in hourly danger of going 
to the bottom, Commodore Forrest directed her to make 
as fast as possible for Kingston in Jamaica, ordering tho 
frigate to attend and stay by in case she should not reach 
her destined port, that at least, the lives of the officer* and 
crew might thereby be preserved. The other three ships 
remained upon their station. The French, seeing tho 
blockaders reduced to three ships crippled by bad weather, 



264 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

nobly resolved to take them, arrogantly boasting that should 
either of the three discharge a single gun they would blow 
them all out of the water, but as they did not imagine a shot 
would be fired they requested the ladies of the Settlement 
to prepare a Ball and Supper for the entertainment of the 
Commanders, their prisoners, thus, as schoolboys say, 
"reckoning their chickens before they were hatched." 
Impudently confident, as Frenchmen generally are, they 
left their harbour that had so long been a shelter to them, 
colours flying, music playing, and accompanied by many 
vessels, large and small, who went to see the British ships 
taken possession of. Commodore Forrest, perceiving the 
enemy getting under way, made a signal for the other two 
Commanders to repair with all speed to him. Being 
instantly obeyed, he addressed them thus : 

" There come the six French ships. I think we ought to 
fight them." 

"Undoubtedly," replied the other two. (The shortest 
council of war in all probability that ever was held.) 

" Away with you to your respective ships then," said 
Forrest, immediately making the Junior Commander's 
signal to lead into action. 

This Junior was Captain Suckling, recently made Post, 
and who from chance never happened to have been in an 
engagement. In his person and manners he was rather 
effeminate, fond of dress, used perfumes, and attended much 
to his person, which not meeting the approbation of the 
Jack Tars, they had contemptuously nicknamed him 
amongst themselves, " Fine Bones." Having regained his 
ship he told the crew he was to lead, " and now, my gallant 
fellows, for the honour of old England we'll shew them what 
a handful of sound hearts can do," giving orders to trim the 
sails and stand direct for the enemy. Whereupon the 
ship's company gave three loud and hearty huzzas, crying 
out, " Damn my eyes ! Well done, Fine Bones ! Fine Bones 
for ever ! Three more cheers for Fine Bones," and again 
they huzza'd, an example that was followed by the crews of 
the other two ships, 



A FAMOUS ACTION 265 

Whilst running on to the French, Captain Suckling 
privately addressed his first lieutenant, an old and gallant 
officer, saying : 

" You have often been in situations similar to that we are 
entering upon. I never was. I know myself, my wishes, 
and my determination, but it is possible I may err through 
inexperience. Should you see anything of that sort set 
me right, and I shall for ever acknowledge the obliga- 
tion." 

The enemy, all astonished at the presumption of the 
English, upon seeing them approach instantly hove to and 
formed into line of battle. Thus, instead of attacking, 
quietly waiting to be attacked. In one hour at it they went 
with such determined fury that tho whole of the attendant 
vessels made a precipitate retreat out of gun shot. After an 
engagement of two hours, four of tho French ships were so 
mauled they left the line, the other two soon following their 
example. The masts of one of them went over tho Hide, and 
then it was the vessels that came out only for amusement 
proved of the utmost use by towing their discomfited 
countrymen back to the harbour, and so preserving them 
from becoming prizes. The gallant English had tho 
mortification to see this shameful retreat without being able 
to prevent it, their rigging, masts, and yards being wholly 
disabled, so that the ships became ungovernable* All the 
three ships, besides the damage aloft, had several shot holes 
between wind and water, which rendered it necessary with 
the utmost dispatch to gain a port. With difficulty they 
kept their battered vessels afloat until they reached Jamaica, 
where, it is hardly necessary to say, the bravo fellows were 
received with the utmost joy and admiration by a grateful 
people. 

The St. Domingo Captains were sadly laughed at by tho 
inhabitants upon the disgraceful issue of the battle, and by 
none with more bitter sarcasms than the ladies, who, not- 
withstanding the disgrace of their naval officers, insisted 
upon the entertainment's taking place that had been 
prepared. They even shewed their contempt still further by 



266 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

giving as the first toast after supper, " The three English 
fighting captains." This engagement certainly redounded 
much to the honour of our noble Tars. 

Mrs. Forrest's two eldest (unmarried) daughters, Julia 
and Cecilia, had just been presented at Court. Arthur, the 
eldest son, as I have akeady mentioned, was at Harrow 
school, educated in the full persuasion that he would inherit 
a fortune of at least ten thousand pounds per annum. 

Towards the end of the year 1770 Commodore Forrest was 
promoted to the rank of Admiral. For several years he had 
been grievously afflicted with the gout, and during his last 
residence in England suffered such agony that almost in 
despair he applied to Sir James Jay, a quack doctor who 
had gained considerable reputation, and was in great 
practice as a curer of the gout. One of his conditions was, 
" No cure, no pay." In case of success a remuneration to 
the medical man for his labour of five hundred pounds. 
Under the Knight's management the Commodore when last 
at home recovered from a severe fit in both hands and both 
feet, and as he himself considered the cure perfect he, 
without the least hesitation, paid the stipulated five 
hundred pounds, soon after which he sailed for the West 
Indies. 

Another of Sir James Jay's patients, whom the Doc- 
tor pronounced cured, chose to judge for himself, and 
from certain acute twitches denied the disorder's being 
eradicated. Sir James insisted that it was, and required 
payment. The patient persisted in withholding the cash, 
and was thereupon held to bail. Upon the trial in the 
Court of King's Bench Sir James, the plaintiff, subpoened 
many persons of rank and consequence to prove the cures 
he had effected and consequent sums paid. Amongst these 
witnesses was Mrs. Forrest, who deposed that her husband 
had been perfectly cured by Sir James, and thankfully paid 
five hundred pounds, that for several years previous to 
putting himself under hi management he always had two 
violent attacks in the twelvemonth, which confined him to 
his Chamber several weeks, whereas eight months had then 



A PERVERSE WOMAN 267 

elapsed without the slightest return of the disorder. Upon 
her evidence principally Sir James Jay obtained a verdict in 
his favour, and at the very moment Mrs. Forrest was giving 
that evidence her husband lay dead from an attack of the 
gout in his stomach, at Jamaica ! ! 

Admiral Forrest by his Will left the whole of his landed 
property, both in England and Jamaica, to his eldest son, 
Arthur, subject to the payment of the widow's jointure 
and the fortunes of all the younger children. A number of 
executors were appointed, amongst whom was the much 
talked of Mr. Elwes, 1 that strange compound of meanness 
and liberality, who was sincerely attached to the Admiral. 
These executors were all so afraid of involving themselves 
in trouble and difficulties from the violent temper and ex- 
travagant follies of Mrs. Forrest, that, with one exception, 
they refused to act, and formally renounced. The exception 
was Mr. Fox, an opposite neighbour at Binfield, and old 
friend of Admiral Forrest's, to whose children and their 
interest, he was zealously attached. By nature he was 
morose and unforgiving when offended. He had always 
pointedly expressed his disapprobation of Mrs. Forrest ' 
manner of bringing up a young family, especially the girls, 
as well as at the unbounded extravagance in which she lived, 
consequently, he was no favourite of hers, so far otherwise 
that whenever he came to visit her husband she affronted 
him either by word or deed, sometimes by both. His calls 
were therefore seldom, and when the Admiral was at sea he 
never entered the house. 

Mr. Fox had peculiarities, but was universally con- 
sidered as a man of the strictest integrity and honour- 
able sentiments, and but for the strange misconduct of 
Mrs. Forrest, the family and their property could not 
have been in better hands than his. That strange and 
perverse woman, instead of conciliating this gentleman, 
every where, in public and in private, spoke of him as tho 
most unprincipled wretch that evefT&xisted, a monster that 
disgraced human nature, who, she was convinced, had 

1 The notorious miser member of the House of Comment, 



268 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

accepted the office of executor solely with a view to rob 
herself and children, that she would watch him closely, and 
if she detected him at any of his rogue's tricks, as she was 
sure she would, she should do all in her power to hang him. 

Mr. Fox was not a man patiently to submit to such Tile 
abuse, such undeserved opprobrium, even from a female, 
yet for the sake of the children of his deceased friend lie 
made some attempts to stop the inveteracy of the lady, and 
induce a more moderate and decorous behaviour. But all his 
efforts were unavailing, seeming to produce more outrageous 
language, if that were possible, and more calumnies than 
ever. The consequence was natural enough. Mr. Fox 
became her declared enemy, and a most serious one he 
proved, whereby not only herself, but the family were 
involved in the deepest distress and ultimate ruin. 

Upon Admiral Forrest's death the widow found herself 
involved in debt to an amount of many thousand pounds 
and no funds from which to discharge them. Such a situa- 
tion, instead of bringing her to her senses, as might have 
been hoped it would, appeared to have a contrary effect 
upon this inconsiderate woman, who continued her un- 
bounded extravagance. She applied to Mr. Willis, the 
agent in London, to whom the consignments of the produce 
of the Jamaica estate were made, for money, and received 
for answer he had not fifty pounds in his possession, and if 
he had, his constituent being dead, he should not be justified 
in making any advances until there was a legal representative 
to grant, him a proper discharge for the same. He also 
informed her he was sorry to hear the crops of the preceding 
year had failed, and the returns would be little or nothing, 
while the current expences of the plantations "continued, 
were even increasing, and must be paid from the earliest 
produce. Even this gloomy statement operated not upon 
Mrs. Forrest, nor occasioned the smallest retrenchment. 
Her folly was not to be checked until the direst necessity 
compelled some alteration. At the end of a year she could 
not raise cash to pay the baker, butcher, and other domestic 
demands, and this alone made her ungraciously consent to 



MRS. FORREST'S EMBARRASSMENTS 269 

part with the immense house in the park. She however did 
so, and scarcely remedied the evil thereby, for she took 
another, certainly not near the size, but still far too large 
and expensive for her means, in Newman Street, where she, 
as thentofore, gave frequent splendid and costly entertain- 
ments ! Never was there so thoughtless a creature. Her 
language too was as strange as her general behaviour, as for 
instance : I was at a card table at her house with a party of 
young people of both sexes, two of her daughters being of it, 
the game loo, when she came to the back of one of the 
young lady's chairs and exclaimed in a loud voice, " Well, 
I declare that game does always surprize mo. To hoar a 
parcel of girls crying out, " Oh, Lord, I'm loo'd (lewd) and 
I'm loo'd, and then the young men declaring they are loo'd 
also ! Indeed, I don't wonder at that, or see how it can 
possibly be otherwise ! It is abominably indecent ! " and 
away she walked, leaving the women confounded with shame 
and blushes at the old lady's most ill-timed remark, the men 
ready to drop from laughter. 

Mrs. Forrest, by continuing her immoderate oxpcnccs, 
greatly increased her embarrassments ; she at length bo- 
came seriously alarmed upon some of the creditors begin- 
ning to be importunate for payment of their demands, 
and she thought she saw the gates of a jail gaping wide 
to receive her: whereupon she wept bitterly, protesting 
that being sent to prison would be the death of her, 
and they had better shoot her at once. Some real 
friends to the family availed themselves of this fright, 
advising her to seek shelter in her own house at Binfiold, 
where alone she could be secure from personal restraint. 
With the utmost eagerness she consented to do so, im- 
mediately ordered post horses, and away she went, leaving 
her daughters with their governess, an intelligent, clever 
woman, to pack up and follow into Berkshire. Thus a 
sudden and unexpected reform commenced, for which, 
however, no merit could be ascribed to Mrs. Forrest, who 
alone yielded to the terror of the moment. The Newman 
Street house was let, the carriages, except that one she took 



270 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

out of town, sold, and the number of servants materially 
reduced. Although thus deprived of the means of living as 
she had always done, in one continued bustle and scene of 
riot, she was determined still to be particular, and as unlike 
as possible to the rest of the world. She therefore reversed 
the common order of time, going to bed when others rise, and 
rising when others go to bed, literally turning night into day, 
and day into night. Soon after her retreat to the country, 
it was deemed necessary from the involved state of the whole 
family and of the Jamaica estates, to make some applica- 
tion to the Lord Chancellor on behalf of the children, or 
those under age. After much consideration, what is pre- 
posterously termed an amicable suit was instituted in the 
Court of Chancery, which for many subsequent years was 
carried on with as much rancour and hostility, and at as 
great an expence as any cause could be. The single good 
arising from it was that the Chancellor ordered three 
hundred pounds per annum to be paid out of the first 
proceeds of the Jamaica property for the support and 
maintenance of the family. His Lordship also appointed a 
receiver to manage the estates. 

Thus was the infatuated, the dashing, gay, Mrs. Forrest 
at once reduced from the utmost splendour and extravagance 
to a state little short of penury. Even that sad change 
could not open her eyes, and as far as circumstances 
admitted, or she could get credit, she still betrayed the same 
disposition to profusion, the same contempt for money as 
ever. I, who was one of her few favorites, was frequently 
invited to Binfield. Whenever I went, my being there was 
made an excuse for having five times the quantity of 
provisions that were necessary. To such an extent was this 
carried that I told her I never would visit her again without 
her giving me a promise (and keeping it, too) that no 
addition whatever should be made to the family fare on my 
account. Her delightful daughters often expressed their 
surprize not only at the speeches I made, and the lectures I 
gave their mother, but at the composure and temper she 
received from me what, had the same thing been said by any 



THE FAMILY MANSION IMPROVED 271 

other person, would have almost driven her frantic. Indeed, 
she herself sometimes remarked I had more influence over 
her than all the rest of the world, which she chiefly attributed 
to the affection her darling boy, Tom, entertained for me. 

In December 1770 Pott again went to India in the 
Cruttenden with Captain Baker, as fifth mate ! About the 
same period, too, Tom Forrest went upon a cruise in a 
frigate. 

Amongst the new acquaintances my family had made 
during my voyage to Madras were several young men of 
fashion, particularly Sir Watts Horton, Mr. Campbell 
(now Lord Gwydir), Mr. Loraine Smith, the Duke of Hamil- 
ton, and Mr. Windham, the gentleman I have already (by 
anticipation) mentioned as the husband of Miss Cecilia 
Forrest, to all of whom I was introduced. 

My father having purchased tho house next to his own 
in St. Albans Street, pulled it down and rebuilt it as an 
addition to his, which was easily made from there being a 
party wall through which doors were broken. This being 
the case the new building had neither staircase nor street 
door, a circumstance that created much wonder in persons 
passing. The addition made it a most capital mansion, one 
of the advantages being, instead of a common passage, 
the entering into a handsome hall, with a fire place, tho 
room that had been my brother's and the clerk's office 
being a part of it. In the new dining parlour, towards tho 
street, was a magnificent marble chimney piece, richly in- 
laid with ormolu, which beautiful piece of workmanship 
was presented to my father by that ingenious mechanist, 
Mr. Cox (the founder of the famous museum that bore his 
name exhibited at Spring Garden rooms) as a token of 
gratitude for important benefits conferred by extricating 
him from various law suits he had long been involved in. 
My father being possessed of a very choice collection of 
valuable paintings, the tout ensemble of his new house 
when completed was truly elegant. 

Notwithstanding I generally spent the evening at some 
public place, I was diligent and attentive to business 



272 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

throughout the day, which brought forth some compli- 
ments from my father, who observed, if I persevered, it was 
not yet too late to make myself a proficient in the law, and 
should I prefer so doing to continuing in the military line 
he had not any objection. He, however, desired me to con- 
sider well ere I resolved, and not to pursue the law unless 
I felt confident of myself, and that I should not fall into 
similar errors as formerly. As usual, I deceived myself, 
thinking I possessed more resolution and fortitude than was 
in my nature. At the expiration of a month I told my 
father I had maturely thought upon the subject, was con- 
vinced I could now control my passions, resist temptation, 
and act in every respect as prudence dictated. I therefore 
determined to stick to the desk. He answered, " Be it so, 
William, with all my heart, and I hope and trust I never 
shall have another occasion to upbraid you on the score 
of disappointing me*" 



CHAPTER XXII 

ACQUAINTANCES IN TOWN 

DURING the winter of 1770, and the whole of 1771, 1 
read a good deal, and attended the duties of an Attor- 
ney's office with tolerable regularity, though I continued to 
frequent public places, especially Ranelagh, which of all 
others was most to my liking. In those days people went 
there well dressed, the men always in swords, and though 
I had resigned my cockade, I retained the use of side arms. 
I dropped most of my Wetherby acquaintances, taking in 
their stead a set of more respectability, amongst whom were 
Messrs. Prescott, Byde, and Lowry, all three sons of eminent 
Bankers ; also Robert Mitford, brother to the Captain of 
the Northumberland Indiaman ; (their father was im- 
mensely rich, though he still continued the business of a 
woollen draper in Cornhill) Farrer, a Barrister, who after- 
wards acquired a rapid and largo fortune as an Advocate of 
the Supreme Court at Calcutta, and several other young 
men whose incomes were so large as to enable them to live 
at great expence. Here was the rock upon which I split, 
absurdly endeavouring to do as they did without reflecting 
that my allowances were very inadequate. 

In the winter of 1771 a set of wild young men made their 
appearance, who from the profligacy of their manners and 
their outrageous conduct in the theatres, taverns and 
coffee houses in the vicinity of Covent Garden, created 
general indignation and alarm, actually driving away many 
sedate persons from their customary amusement in an 
evening. They were distinguished under the title of 
" Mohawks," and as such severely attacked by the public 
news papers, which, instead of checking, seemed to stimulate 
their excesses. They consisted of only four in number, 
their Chief, Rhoan Hamilton (afterwards known aa an Irish 
T 273 



274 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Rebel by the name of Hamilton Rhoan, he having taken 
what had been his Christian for a surname). This gentle- 
man, when he first came forward in the character of Mo- 
hawk, was in the prime of life, a remarkably fine figure 
upwards of six feet high, and perfectly well made. He, 
being a man of fortune, was the principal hero. The second 
in command was Mr. Hayter, whose father was an opulent 
merchant and Bank Director ; the third, a Mr. Osborne, a 
young American who had come to England to study law ; 
and the last, Mr. Frederick, a handsome lad without a 
guinea, said to be a son, or grandson, of the much talked 
of and unfortunate Theodore, King of Corsica. He had 
dubbed himself with the convenient travelling title of 
" Captain," but no one knew from what Corps he derived 
that rank. 

This Quartette were in a constant state of inebriety, 
daily committing the most wanton outrages upon unoffend- 
ing individuals who unfortunately fell in their way. It 
fell to my lot to witness much of their insolent proceedings, 
for at the time they commenced them I belonged to two 
different Clubs, one at the Shakespear, the other at the 
Piazza Coffee house, at the quitting of which I generally fell 
in with those formidable fellows, and being brim full of wine, 
I invariably attacked them, reprobating their scandalous 
behaviour, and delivering my opinion thereon in unqualified 
terms of disapprobation, so much so that the by standers 
have often been astonished that they did not instantly 
assail me. They sometimes did violently threaten, notwith- 
standing which I persevered in reprobating their conduct 
and abusing them whenever we met, becoming so determined 
an opponent that I was soon distinguished by the, at least, 
less dishonourable title of, "The anti-Mohawk," under 
which I had some high flown compliments paid me by the 
sober old Dons of the Coffee houses annoyed by their 
enormities. These gentry did not always act together, 
sometimes separating and even singly insulting the quiet 
and well disposed, but at a certain hour of the night they 
always met, usually at Lovejoy's, laying their plans of 



THE MOHAWKS 275 

mischief for the ensuing day. The following instance of 
brutality I was, in part, an eye witness of. I was waiting 
in the Piazza Coffee room for some friends with whom I had 
promised to go to the play, when Hamilton came in very 
drunk, according to custom. After talking to me a few 
minutes (for I was acquainted with all the four Mohawks) 
he walked to the Bar, there asking Dennis, the master of 
the house, " who was above ? " Dennis replied : 

" None of your friends, sir." 

"I understood," said Hamilton, "there were a party 
in the blue room." 

" No, sir," answered Dennis, " a single gentleman whom 
I do not know, is there waiting for three others whom 
he expects." 

" Aye," said Hamilton, " then, Dam'me if I don't go 
and take a peep at your stranger," and up he walked, 
Dennis following. 

The latter soon returned, entreating I would go up and 
endeavour to get Mr. Hamilton away, for he was apprehen- 
sive of mischief. I accordingly ascended. Upon entering 
the room I saw Hamilton standing in a boxing attitude, 
whilst a genteel looking young man of very slight form, and 
apparently in bad health, was striking at him without 
effect, as he met every intended blow before it could reach 
him with a severe stroke from himself under the assailant's 
arm. I directly stepped between them, saying to Hamil- 
ton : 

" Is this a proof of your valour ? Such a Herculean 
fellow as you are to attack such a man as this ! For shame, 
for shame, Hamilton, you deserve to be scouted from the 
society of gentlemen." 

Instead of any expression of anger at this address, he 
immediately answered : 

" By God, it is very true, Hickey ! I am ashamed of 

myself," and, turning to the gentleman, he continued, 

' And, sir, I beg you ten thousand pardons. I have behaved 

scandalously, and will make every concession you demand. 

Can you forgive me ? Again I beg your pardon." 



276 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

In the moment of this conciliatory speech in came 
Frederick, who instantly exclaimed, " What's this I hear ? 
Zounds ! Hamilton, do you beg any man's pardon ! " 

Hamilton, in a moment, replied : 

" No, by God, not to any one breathing, 53 and turning 
to the stranger, he added, "I have beat you, and I'm 
damned glad of it. You are a damned scoundrel. How- 
ever, if you wish for it I'll give you satisfaction whenever 
you please. Hickey knows me ; every body knows Hamil- 
ton, you scoundrel." 

Upon this most extraordinary change of conduct, brought 
about by that despicable adventurer, Frederick, I felt 
extremely angry, and told Frederick he was an infamous 
bully that deserved to be kicked down stairs. He half 
drew his sword, when he was seized by Dennis and several 
gentlemen whom the noise had brought up from the coffee 
room, and forcibly carried down, when both he and Hamil- 
ton, becoming extremely riotous and violent, the gentlemen 
in the coffee room insisted upon the Watch being called, 
or a constable. With considerable difficulty the two heroes 
were carried off to the Round House, and there lodged for 
the night. 

The stranger returned me his sincere thanks for my 
interference. He told me his name was Hare, that he came 
to the Piazza to meet some friends with whom he was to 
sup, that when Mr. Hamilton (whom he did not know) 
came into the room he was writing a letter, that Hamilton 
approaching the table without speaking, took up the ink- 
stand, which he was carrying off, when he (Mr. Hare) said, 
" Sir, I am using that ink, you must not take it away," 
whereupon Hamilton turned round, seized the half written 
letter from the table and tore it to pieces, that he (Hare), 
amazed at such an act, asked what he could mean. " Mean," 
retorted Hamilton, "I mean to give you a damned good 
licking," and accompanied this threat by putting his 
clenched fist close to Hare's face; that he, (Hare) 
fired with indignation at such brutality, and nothing 
doubting but that the assailant would strike him, made 



A RELENTING DUELLIST 277 

a blow at Hamilton, which he met, striking the arm 
of Hare underneath, and so continued to do until he 
(Hare) was no longer able to raise his arm from his side, 
as already mentioned. Mr. Hare then took off his coat 
and, turning up his shirt sleeves, the flesh of the right arm 
appeared black and dreadfully bruised from the wrist to 
the shoulder, which he said was attended with acute pain. 
He begged I would attend the following morning before the 
Magistrate to relate such part of the transaction as I had 
seen, which I did at Sir John Fielding's, who, upon taking 
the deposition of Mr. Hare, mine, and Dennis's, (the latter 
being summoned) compelled the two, Hamilton and 
Frederick, to give ample security to appear to any indict- 
ment or prosecution Mr. Hare might prefer against thorn, 
or either of them, he (Mr. Hare) being required to enter into 
a recognizance to prosecute the culprits at the then next 
Sessions. 

Mr. Hare's feelings as a gentleman were by no means 
satisfied with the above measures ; the hour therefore 
that he recovered the use of his arm he sent a challenge 
to Hamilton; which was accepted without hesitation, per- 
sonal spirit being one of tho few qualities Mr. Hamilton 
possessed. They met, with each a second, when Hamilton 
received the fire of his antagonist, immediately discharg- 
ing his own pistol in the air, desiring Hare to fire again 
if he chose it. Hare urged him to return his fire, say- 
ing it was no compensation for the uncommon ill treat- 
ment he had received to stand a single shot, and that a 
refusal to return his fire, of course, made it impossible for 
him to proceed. Hamilton persisted in refusing to attempt 
taking the life of a man he had already so grossly and so unpro- 
vokedly insulted and maltreated, for which, since he became 
sober and conscious of his ill behaviour, he felt the utmowt 
distress and concern. This apology, so full and unasked for, 
was by both the seconds considered as sufficient to satisfy 
the wounded honour of Mr. Hare. The latter gentleman 
therefore yielded to this opinion, and was about to quit the 
ground, when Hamilton, addressing him, said he was so 



278 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

ashamed of himself on account of what had passed that 
there was no reparation within his power he would not 
readily consent to, even to the insertion of an apology in the 
public news papers. This offer was as handsomely refused 
by Mr. Hare, who professed himself entirely satisfied with 
the last declaration of Mr. Hamilton. They then parted 
with mutual civilities. 

What a lamentable thing that a man with such proper 
and becoming sentiments as Hamilton expressed at this 
meeting should ever have been guilty of the atrocious 
excesses and violence he was, not only before, but subse- 
quent to the above transaction. The fact is, his dissolute 
companions kept him in a constant state of intoxication, 
whereby they found they could manage him as they 
pleased, besides supplying themselves from his purse with 
cash, a scarce article with two of his associates, Frederick 
and Osborne. 

Mr. Hare being upon the eve of departure for the East 
Indies, embarked prior to the commencement of the 
Sessions, whereby the offenders escaped prosecution, and 
the consequent punishment they so much deserved. Mr. 
Hare went to Bengal as an Advocate of the Supreme 
Court, where from his strong recommendations he obtained 
from the Government a contract so advantageous as to 
enable him in four years to set out on his return to Europe 
over land. Whilst on his journey he imprudently let his 
attendants see some diamonds and other valuable articles 
in his writing desk. This induced them to murder him as 
he lay asleep upon the banks of the Euphrates, into which 
river they threw, his body, went off with the property, and 
were never afterwards heard of. 

In the Spring of 1772 my friend, Pott, returned from his 
second voyage to China, and immediately called upon me. 
He had grown an elegant figure, retaining all his beauty, and 
was soon pronounced by the women to be the handsomest 
young man in London. He told me Baker was an infamous 
scoundrel, and he had again proved him to be a despicable 
poltroon also, having submitted to his (Pott's) spitting in 



FATHER AND SON 279 

his face, which, he actually had done a few days before he 
left the Cruttenden. "And thus," added he, "ends my 
career as mate of an Indiaman, for never more will I set 
my foot on board ship in that capacity." Upon which 1 
asked what he intended to do in future. His reply was 
" Curse me, if I know, William, not having yet given it a 
thought. The old boy " (his father) " must carve out 
something dashing for me." 

About a week after his return I received an invitation 
to dine in Lincoln's Inn Fields, when the father complained 
to me in strong terms of Robert's conduct, observing that 
what might have been forgiven in him as a mere boy 
became inexcusable at a more mature age. He said he had 
scrupulously enquired into all the circumstances of his last 
voyage, in every point of which he found Robert in the 
wrong, and that his behaviour to his commander had been 
most improper and disrespectful, in some instances scarcely 
short of mutiny. Mr. Pott also told me that .Robert's 
conduct outward bound had been so inconsiderate that after 
several unavailing remonstrances, Captain Baker had been 
under the necessity of breaking him, but upon their arrival 
in China, at the intercession of the supercargoes, had re- 
instated him, promising to bury in oblivion all that had 
passed to that period, notwithstanding which his (Robert's) 
conduct on the homeward passage was more outrageous 
than ever. At this unfavourable representation of his 
conduct Robert only laughed, which put his father into 
a great rage, and he swore that he might starve if he chose 
to abandon the line chalked out for him. Then, addressing 
me, he said : 

" Is this behaviour to bo endured ? This favorite of 
yours, Mr. Hickey, will certainly drive me mad. Hero have 
I been making an interest to bring him forward in the service 
and procure for him the command of a ship, which ho might 
have after one voyage more, and the bastard has the im- 
pudence to tefl me he will not upon any terms go such 
voyage ! " 

" Nor will I, sir," said Robert, interrupting his father. 



280 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

" There is not a single gentleman amongst them, nor shall 
any thing make me mix or have to do with such a set of 
low blackguards." 

"Very fine, very fine, proud sir," replied Mr. Pott, 
" but niay I be so bold as to ask how you intend to 
live. Is it upon your fortune, sir ? If it be, I give you 
joy ! but, by God, that fortune will not come from me. 
Already more than your just proportion has, I am sorry to 
say, been wasted upon you, and certainly I shall not stint 
the rest of my children in order to support you in extrava- 
gance and folly." 

Robert coolly answered he was far from wishing he should 
do so, that he was, however, satisfied if he (the father) 
chose it, he could easily obtain a writership in the Com- 
pany's service at Bengal, and to such a situation he looked. 

During the summer Robert and I were constantly 
together, making frequent excursions round the vicinity of 
London. I generally dined or ;e a week with his family. 
Mr. Pott at last told me that as he found Bob so obstinately 
determined to abandon the sea altogether he must try 
what he could do to procure for him the appointment of a 
writer. Bob by this time had become quite a London 
rake. He displayed peculiar taste in dress, though carried 
to excess in point of fashion, soon becoming the envy of 
all the young men of his day. I was one morning walking 
arm in arm with him in St. James's park, his dress then 
being a white coat, cut in the extremity of ton, lined 
with a Garter blue satin, edged with ermine, and orna- 
mented with rich silver frogs ; waistcoat and breeches of the 
same blue satin, trimmed with silver twist a la Hussar, and 
ermine edges. In our walk we met young Horneck, then 
Bob's counterpart both as to person and age, who had just 
become an ensign in the Guards. Horneck, struck with 
the figure and appearance of my companion, when abreast 
of us, stopped and stared rather rudely. Whereupon Pott, 
turning towards him, said to me, "Look, William ! there is 
a coxcomb that cannot bear a competitor, jealous as the 
devil and envious too ! " accompanying his remark by a 



LESSONS IN ART 281 

peculiarly provoking laugh that was natural to him. Hor- 
neck coloured deeply, seemed mortified, but said not a word 
and went on his way. 

The life I now led was by far too dissipated, and occa- 
sioned very frequent remonstrances from my father, who 
tried a variety of means to keep me at home. As he knew 
I was fond of drawing he most kindly and considerately 
engaged a very ingenious man, Mr. Thomas Malton, to 
attend me twice a week and give me instruction therein, 
as well as in geometry and perspective. This Mr. Malton 
had been for several years a cabinet maker, having a large 
shop in the Strand, but as nature had blessed him with an 
extraordinary mechanical genius he was constantly en- 
gaged in experiments upon different subjects therein, 
employing every leisure hour in attaining a proficiency in 
the different branches of mathematics and natural philo- 
sophy. So powerfully did this inclination operate as his 
knowledge increased that he at length relinquished his trade, 
giving himself up entirely to his favorite studies. In less 
than a year after he had so done, he delivered a course of 
lectures upon Geometry, in which he shewed such talents 
and ingenuity as gained him not only the applause, but the 
support and patronage of some of the most learned and 
able men of those days, which proved of importance, for 
he left off business with only about two thousand pounds, 
having then a wife and six children, three boys and three 
girls. The eldest son (about sixteen) when an infant had 
the misfortune to fracture his leg so badly as to make 
amputation of the broken limb necessary. He, however, 
recovered, using the wooden substitute with wonderful 
dexterity and agility, running up and down stairs faster 
than I could with my legs perfect. This mutilated boy 
possessed as extraordinary genius as his father, and was 
one of the best draftsmen in England. He afterwards exe- 
cuted and published many works that deservedly gained 
him both profit and credit. The eldest girl, at the time 
the father came to attend me, was thirteen years of age, 
looking older, and very pretty. The rest of the children 



282 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

were infants. Of this family I shall have occasion to speak 
again, as I became an inmate of their house. 

Mr. Malton, at different periods, produced some works of 
considerable merit ; amongst them were a treatise upon 
Geometry and another upon Perspective, both which were 
greatly admired and speedily ran through several editions. 
This was the more extraordinary as he was self taught, never 
having had a master or instructor in any one branch of the 
mathematics. Upon his first coming to me, I made some 
objection to losing my time, as I ignorantly termed it, upon 
geometry, which made him observe that It was the founda- 
tionf, the very key stone of perspective, in which no man could 
be a proficient without being a geometrician. I therefore 
yielded to his advice, but am sorry to add, that while taking 
lessons from him in that science my thoughts often wandered 
from the subject, and when he imagined me all attention I 
was thinking of the party I was engaged to pass the evening 
with, or of some other more remote scene of folly. This 
however, only continued while I was at the, to me, dry 
study of geometry, for to perspective, which I was very 
desirous of gaining a knowledge of, I paid sufficient atten- 
tion, making a progress therein that highly gratified both 
my teacher, Malton, and my father. I had taken a rough 
sketch of my friend, Mr. Symmons's, house and garden at 
Battersea, (with whom, notwithstanding my dissipation, I 
still kept up an intimacy). This sketch Mr. Malton acci- 
dentally seeing in my portfolio, he pointed out several 
glaring faults and mistakes, and he proposed my making 
a correct drawing from it, which I immediately set about 
and executed under his eye, producing a chaste and highly 
finished representation of that beautiful mansion, bringing 
into the view a part of the river Thames, with his yacht at 
anchor off the house with several boats and barges passing 
by. I begged Mr. Symmons's acceptance of it when done, 
and greatly pleased him thereby. He had it elegantly 
framed and hung up in the principal room. 

At the end of the month of June this year (1772) my 
father went to Paris in order to take my sisters, Ann and 



TO BATH WITH WILLIAM BURKE 283 

Sarah, away from the Convent of Panthemont. On the 
25th of July they all three returned in health and safety to 
London. 

Towards the close of the year Pott told me his father 
had procured for him a writership on the Bengal establish- 
ment, but that he should not go out for a twelvemonth at 
soonest. Being sincerely attached to him, I was happy 
to hear he had succeeded in his object, though I regretted 
the consequent loss of his society. 

About this period Mrs. Cholmondeley, whom I have before 
spoken of, informed me that Robert, her youngest son, was 
going to India as a writer. At her desire I wrote by Mm to 
my Plassey shipmates, Rider and Grant, (with the former 
of whom I kept up a regular correspondence) for the pur- 
pose of procuring two pleasant and useful acquaintances. 
I was, however, disappointed in that object by the ship, 
Duke of Albany, which he was on board of, being lost in 
Balasore roads, where many of the crew perished, all being 
in imminent danger of sharing the same fate. Cholmondeley, 
with some other passengers, were picked up by the pilot 
schooner. He was a clever lad, and, had he lived, would 
have made a figure, but at the end of two years he was 
carried off by a bilious fever. 

Mr. Henry Ramus, another acquaintance of mine, went 
out a writer the same season. His eldest brother, George, 
and I were contemporaries at Westminster and great 
cronies. By Henry I also wrote to Rider and Grant. Rider 
shewed him every attention and kindness in Ms power ; 
Grant had left Bengal and returned to England for the 
recovery of his health. 

In the month of December my father, by way of recrea- 
tion, took me with him to Bath. I therefore took leave of 
Pott and the rest of my London associates for a few weeks, 
and on the 10th my father, Mr. William Cane, and Mr. 
William Burke, set off in a post coach. We slept at Marl- 
borough, reaching Bath the next day to dinner. Here I 
passed six weeks very agreeably. Two days after our 
arrival I met, at the pump room, the above mentioned 



284 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

James Grant, with whom I made several pleasant excursions 
about the country on horseback, thus varying our scenes 
of amusement. 

On the 17th of January 1773, the same four left Bath on 
our return to Town, again stopping for the night at Marl- 
borough, at the " White Hart," an Inn though not so 
magnificently furnished as the " Castle," in no way inferior 
in respect to the fare, the wines, and attendants, their 
claret being uncommonly good. While sitting at table over 
this generous liquor my father said to Mr, Burke, "Come 
now, Will, as all present are sincerely devoted to you, tell 
us what is your true state at present with respect to India 
Stock." 

It is necessary here to premise that at this period a violent 
struggle subsisted between two parties, both of great weight 
and influence, relative to the affairs in India, the Chief on 
one side being Lord Clive, on the other Mr. Laurence 
Sullivan, who had long been in the habit of opposing each 
other. Numerous individuals of fortune engaged in the 
interests of these rivals for power, the contest, in fact, 
being which of them should ride lord paramount over the 
East India Company. Mr. William Burke was a Sullivanite. 
The different manoeuvres adopted by the respective parti- 
sans, the various and contrariety of reports mutually pro- 
pagated for political purposes, frequently influenced, and to 
a considerable extent, the value of the Stock. It had con- 
sequently been foreseen that whichever party finally pre- 
vailed the other must be involved in inextricable ruin. 

To the question put, Mr. Burke replied : 

" I will tell you, Joe, honestly and fairly. Here is a 
letter," taking one from his pocket, " which I received from 
my Broker this day, an hour before we left Bath, clearly 
demonstrating that, was I now to retire, I could realise 
eighty thousand pounds ! " 

Upon hearing this my father and Mr. Cane directly 
exclaimed : 

" Then, for God's sake, my dear Will, do so. Cut forth- 
with without losing a day." 



WILLIAM BURKE'S MISTAKE 285 

"No, my friends/ 5 said Mr. Burke, "not yet. Our 
party act upon a certainty, and are not to be shaken. 
When we started I was let into the secret, and knew it 
could not be otherwise. The sum I fixed upon was a plum 
(one hundred thousand pounds). I shall soon accomplish 
my object, and will then bid them good morning." 

They both begged, entreated, and said every thing in 
their power to induce him to secure what he had already 
acquired, justly observing that he would be quite as happy 
with eighty thousand pounds as with a million. All which 
he admitted, but still repeated his determination to acquire 
the amount first fixed as the bounds of his ambition. Need 
the issue be stated. Lord dive's party ultimately proved 
successful, and Sullivan's were undone. This happened 
within two months after the Marlborough conversation. 
Mr. William Burke not only lost the eighty thousand 
pounds, but every guinea he had in the world at the back 
of it. His friend, Earl Verney, who had espoused the same 
side, was an actual sufferer to the enormous amount of 
two hundred thousand pounds. 

The day after my return to town Joseph Pott, the next 
brother to Robert, whom I had frequently called upon, 
and tipped at Eton School, came to St. Albans Street, and 
to my inexpressible surprize informed me that Robert had 
departed for Calcutta, being then at Portsmouth on board 
the Houghton, Captain Smith, wind bound, that this 
measure was resolved on and every thing arranged previous 
to my going to Bath, but kept secret from me to avoid the 
pain of a formal parting, which Robert said he could not 
support and thought it better for both to keep clear of. 
I felt vexed at thus unexpectedly losing my young favorite, 
but derived consolation from the society of Tom Forrest, 
who had just landed from a very successful six months' 
cruise. With him I went in February to Chatham to see 
the Coventry frigate, the ship he then belonged to. I 
lived much with the different branches of his family, making 
occasional visits to his strange mother at Binfield. In the 
summer I went to Harrow on the hill to see the silver arrow 



286 MEMOIRS OP WILLIAM HICKEY 

shot for, Arthur Forrest, her eldest son, being a competitor, 
though an unsuccessful one, for the prize. The shooting for 
an honorary reward had been a practice long in use with 
the boys of Harrow school, nor did I ever hear the reason 
why it stopped, but the above was the last time it ever was 
shot for. At the holidays which followed the arrow cere- 
mony Arthur Forrest left school, soon after which an 
Ensigncy in the Guards was purchased for him, whereupon 
he sported the smart Regimentals, and although yet a mere 
stripling launched out into all the follies of a London life. 
He continued to be encouraged with the hope, indeed, the 
certainty, of stepping into a large fortune upon coming of 
age, and in that delusive expectation, as it unhappily proved, 
he raised money at the usual exorbitant rate to such an 
amount as to involve him in the utmost distress, and 
finally to drive him to seek refuge in a foreign land. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

SOME DUELS AND SOME SAILING 

I CONTINUED but in an increased degree every month 
to attend to my different Club meetings, drank to excess, 
and in drunkenness often fell in with the Mohawks, whom 
I always vehemently opposed, notwithstanding which I 
escaped personal ill treatment from them, to the surprize 
of all who witnessed the abuse I gave them. 

In July of this summer, 1773, I was present when a 
circumstance occurred that engaged the attention of the 
public, and filled a large portion of the daily papers for 
several months. A family party were at Vauxhall, consisting 
of Mrs. Hartley, the then celebrated actress, the Reverend 
Mr. Bate, who was married to her sister, which Mr. Bate 
was Editor of a very popular news paper recently published 
under the title of the Morning Post, and had made himself 
conspicuous by the extraordinary freedom of his writings. 
He was considered to be a man of abilities and honourable 
sentiments, his person remarkably good. His wife and 
two or three other relations formed the group. There was 
also in the Gardens that evening three young men of the 
haut ton, like men of that description exceeding bad 
members of society, acting, although in a somewhat less 
degree of infamy the same offensive part as the Mohawks. 
First on the list stood George Robert Fitzgerald, a relative 
of the Earl of Bristol. In person he was uncommonly slim 
and delicate, his address mild and insinuating in an un- 
common degree, yet in temper and behaviour at times 
ferocious beyond measure. In age not more than twenty five, 
yet even at that early stage he had fought several duels, in 
one of which he received a dangerous wound in the head, the 
ball carrying away a piece of his skull, in the place whereof 
a plate of silver was substituted after he had undergone 

287- 



288 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

the operation of trepanning. His advocates gave this as 
a reason for his subsequent incorrectnesses, alleging that 
his brain was affected. He was a lieutenant of cavalry. 
The next was the Honourable Mr. Littleton, who soon after 
succeeded to the peerage by the same title, and as worthless 
a fellow as ever drew breath. The third was Mr. Croftes, 
who commanded a troop in Burgoyne's famous regiment of 
Light horse. By nature and disposition he was a well 
disposed young man had he not been led away by the 
fashionable vices of those he lived with, following their evil 
example to support what was improperly termed " life." 
These three gentlemen, for so by the courtesy of the country 
they were called, in walking the circle, thought proper 
to stare rudely in Mrs. Hartley's face, which having re- 
peated in two or three rounds, Mr. Bate, in polite and mild 
language, remonstrated. This produced only a scornful 
laugh, and a repetition of their impertinence. Whereupon 
Mr. Bate told them their behaviour was ungentlemanlike, 
and if they presumed to offer further insult he should be under 
the necessity of chastising them. A scuffle ensued, and blows 
passed, especially between Croftes and Bate. The conflict 
was, however, soon stopped by the spectators, when cards 
were exchanged, Mr. Bate promising to meet Croftes the 
following day at the Turks head coffee house in the Strand, 
there to arrange a more serious meeting. Mr. Bate was 
punctual to his appointment. He found Captain Croftes 
waiting in a private room ; weapons, time and place, were 
fixed upon, when Fitzgerald, Littleton, and a person in a 
military dress entered the room, Fitzgerald directly 
saying : 

" Croftes, what are you about ? You can have nothing 
to do upon this occasion," and turning to Mr. Bate, he 
continued, "Here, sir, is the gentleman with whom you 
had the rencontre last night, Captain Miles, who attends in 
consequence to demand satisfaction." 

Mr. Bates, astonished, replied : 

" I do not know the gentleman, or that I ever saw hiro 
before. Mr. Croftes is the man that offended me, jointly with 



MR. BATE FIGHTS "CAPTAIN" MILES 286 

you two. I am about to settle the matter properly with 
him. That over, rest assured neither of you two shall re- 
main unnoticed." 

Fitzgerald insisted Captain Miles was the man, therefore 
he and his friends should no longer obtrude upon their 
privacy, and taking Crof tes by the arm, the three walked out 
of the room, leaving the military hero and Bate together. 
Mr. Bate then said to Captain Miles : 

"Upon my word, this is an extraordinary occurrence. 
Certainly, sir, you were not one of the party last night." 

" Oh, by Jasus, but I was," said the Captain, " and I 
must have the satisfaction due to my wounded honour." 

Bate, hearing this, and being a man of undaunted spirit, 
replied : 

" Well, sir, as you choose to volunteer I have no objec- 
tion and will indulge you. Specify your wish as to when and 
where." 

" Oh, by Jasus," said Captain Miles, " no time like the 
present. Here, just where we are." 

" That, sir," said Bate, " is impossible, A small room 
like this is very ill adapted for such a business, besides we 
have no weapons, at least, I have none." (Miles had a 
sword on.) 

" Oh, by Jasus," said Miles, " I'll soon be on aqual terms," 
and he took off his sword, coat, and waistcoat, laid them 
upon a chair and put himself in the attitude of boxing. 

Mr. Bate, more surprized than ever, asked what he could 
mean by such unaccountable conduct. 

" Mane ! " replied the man, " I mane that I know 
nothing about swords. Here's my wapon," (clenching his 
fists) " so come on." 

Mr. Bate thereupon told him he was convinced he could 
have no right to wear the regimentals he had appeared in, 
that he was an imposter and blackguard, and notwith- 
standing he was himself a clergyman he would chastise 
him for his impudence and folly. He then coolly took off 
his coat and waistcoat, and locked the door, while doing 
which Captain Miles disencumbered himself of his shirt* 



290 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

At it they went. The Captain was a scientific pugilist, but 
Mr. Bate being in no way his inferior in skill, and far 
superior in bodily strength, he in less than a quarter of an 
hour gave the Captain so complete a drubbing that he 
gave in, admitting he was not equal to further contest. 

" Very well," said Mr. Bate, " upon one condition only 
I consent to let you depart. Tell me your name and situa- 
tion in life, and who has employed you upon this occasion." 

The man refused ; Bate knocked him down, protesting 
he would beat him until he declared who he was. The 
fellow, finding this to be the case, confessed that he was 
Fitzgerald's servant, and being a strong, powerful man, with 
some skill in pugilism, his master had made him dress in a 
suit of his regimentals under a notion that he would be 
able to thrash the parson. 

Having thus learnt the particulars of this scandalous 
transaction, Mr. Bate resolved no longer to think of treating 
any of the party as gentlemen. The following morning a 
narrative of the whole case was inserted in the Morning 
Post, with the names of the actors in it at full length, and 
subscribed at the foot by Mr. Bate. This account the 
persons accused answered in another paper, asserting the 
whole to be a gross misrepresentation. Whereupon Mr. 
Bate republished it, verifying every word of it by a solemn 
affidavit. The offenders then employed one of the news 
paper editors, a man of abilities, who entered into a paper 
war with Mr. Bate, endeavouring to write him down, in 
which attempt he totally failed, the case being too plain ; 
the voice of the public was unanimously against the Three. 
The officers of Croftes's regiment held a consultation upon 
the subject, at which it* was the opinion of every individual 
present that after Captain Croftes degrading himself so 
far as to be concerned in so disgraceful a transaction it 
became impossible that he could remain in the Corps. 
Nothing but his being a favorite with the Regiment pre- 
vented his being brought to a Court martial, and, in all 
probability, cashiered. A message was, however, sent to 
him to advise his selling out, which of course he did, thus 



AN OBSTINATE MAN 291 

sacrificing Ms fair prospects to the folly of one evening : 
nor did the evil end there, as he ultimately lost his life from 
the same cause. Feeling ashamed after what had passed 
of appearing amongst his former friends and acquaintances, 
he left England, embarking for Bengal, where he had an 
elder brother, Mr. Charles Croftes, who filled a very lucra- 
tive office at Calcutta. This gentleman not only received 
his unfortunate relation with the utmost affection, but 
from his interest with Government procured for him an 
honourable and advantageous situation in the Vizier's 
Court at Lucknow, to which place Mr. Croftes repaired, 
where he had resided upwards of a year greatly liked and 
respected, when, unhappily, at a convivial dinner where 
the whole party committed a debauch, a dispute arose 
between Croftes and a Doctor Murchison ; both parties 
being extremely violent, a challenge was given and accepted 
for meeting with pistols. The following morning they 
accordingly met each attended by a friend. So much had 
they been intoxicated the preceding evening that neither 
recollected a word that had passed, but merely that some 
supposed offence had been given in consequence of which 
the meeting was fixed on. The two seconds, who had like- 
wise been of the party, were too drunk to recollect a single 
circumstance or which had been the challenger. 

Under such circumstances Dr. Murchison and the two 
attending friends all declared their wish that nothing further 
should be done, for as no known cause of quarrel existed it 
would be the height of madness to proceed. They therefore 
proposed shaking hands and departing. To such a measure 
Croftes objected, not. from any resentment towards Dr. 
Murchison, as he exceedingly lamented any thing should 
have occurred to bring them thus hostilely to the field, yet, 
labouring as he did already under the unfavourable opinion 
of the world for his behaviour in the Vauxhall dispute, he 
could not upon that account accommodate a second busi- 
ness of the same nature. The three gentlemen declared 
such sentiments were too refined, that no blame could in 
the slightest degree attach to the character of either, and 



292 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

they ought to leave the ground. Croftes persisted. Finding 
him thus absurdly obstinate against accommodation, the 
seconds proposed that each (Croftes and Murchison) should 
stand back to back, take twelve steps, turn and fire. To 
this Croftes again objected as being an unusual distance. 
It was compounded by each taking nine steps, when they 
turned, discharging their pistols so exactly together that 
only one report was heard. Croftes missed, but Murchison's 
shot was more fatally directed, Croftes falling, dead upon 
the spot. 

Mr. Littleton, finding himself in such disgrace as to be 
nearly sent to Coventry by all respectable friends, went to 
the Continent, passing several months at the German Spa 
until he imagined the indignation his conduct excited had 
subsided. 

Fitzgerald escaped the notice of his brother officers 
from the Eegiment he belonged to being upon duty in the 
least frequented part of Ireland, but the original fault 
involved him in a duel, which arose as follows : About 
a month after the controversial publications in the news 
papers respecting the Vauxhall affray, the officers of the 
Guards on duty at St. James's palace, being at dinner in 
their mess room, were discussing the subject over their 
wine, each gentleman delivering his sentiments freely upon 
what had occurred. One of the party, Captain Scawen (an 
old friend and contemporary of mine at Westminster) 
spoke his mind as to the military men particularly, and did 
so in the full confidence of being in the company of men who 
would scorn to divulge a private conversation. He was 
pointedly severe in his remarks upon Fitzgerald's dressing 
a menial servant in his own regimentals and ordering him 
to personate one of His Majesty's officers for an infamous 
and disgraceful purpose. One of the party, a Captain 
Bagnell, attempted to defend the conduct of Fitzgerald, 
but was scouted by the rest, though they admitted the 
humanity and good nature of his endeavours. This Captain 
Bagnell meeting Fitzgerald soon after, told him he had 
recently been fighting Ms battles, having been present when 



CAPTAIN SCAWEN'S ARREST 293 

one of the party publicly declared that he (Fitzgerald) 
after his scandalous treatment of Mr. Bate, was unworthy 
of the society of gentlemen. Fitzgerald thereupon en- 
quired who the person was that had so said. The question 
made Captain Bagnell recollect how unguarded he had been 
in divulging what had, he knew, been expressed in con- 
fidential society. He therefore declined giving the name, 
but was soon brought to a crisis by Fitzgerald's saying unless 
he gave his authority he should consider him the inventor 
of a slanderous tale and a calumniator. Captain Bagnell, 
finding the business likely to come home to himself, pre- 
ferred giving the name of Captain Scawen. Fitzgerald 
immediately went to Scawen's house to demand satisfac- 
tion. Scawen agreed to meet him in two hours, and directly 
set out in search of Captain (now General) Hulse to ask 
him to attend as second. Captain Hulse being from home, 
he was proceeding to another friend's, on his way towards 
whose lodgings he in the street met Lieutenant Colonel 
Lake (afterwards Lord Viscount Lake), whom as a brother 
officer and great friend he addressed, telling him what had 
just occurred, and that he was in search of some one to 
accompany him on the occasion. Colonel Lake immediately 
said : "I am extremely sorry, Scawen, you have men- 
tioned this matter to me, because, being upon duty, I must 
take notice of it and put you under arrest." Scawen most 
earnestly entreated that he would not do so, observing what 
an extraordinary and eccentric man he had to deal with, 
and that an obstacle so occurring might injure his (Scawen's) 
character, that as no living soul could possibly know he had 
spoken to him upon the business, he begged to be allowed 
to proceed in it. Colonel Lake was not to be moved from 
his purpose, as he conceived his duty required a rigid 
adherence. He therefore insisted upon Scawen's consider- 
ing himself under arrest. 

Mr. Fitzgerald went to the ground appointed, where a 
servant of Scawen's was waiting with a letter from hia 
master to Fitzgerald, explaining the cause of his non- 
attendance a and offering forthwith to go to the Continent 



294 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

to give him the satisfaction he sought. This offer Fitz- 
gerald affected to treat with contempt, swearing Scawen 
was a poltroon and he never would thenceforward consider 
him in the light of a gentleman, for he had certainly ad- 
dressed the commanding officer on duty for the express 
purpose of avoiding a meeting. In the mean time Colonel 
Lake lost not a moment in representing the transaction to 
the General commanding in London at the time, which 
officer instantly ordered the arrest to be withdrawn. This 
being communicated to Scawen, he wrote to inform Fitz- 
gerald thereof, adding that he would meet him instantly, 
or at any hour he chose to name. Fitzgerald refused even 
to give an answer, repeating what he had before said of 
Scawen's applying to an officer upooa duty, and that he 
could only have so done in order to be put under arrest and 
avoid fighting. Scawen once more explained, pledging his 
honour that when he addressed Colonel Lake, he did so as 
a friend, and did not observe that he was sashed. Fitz- 
gerald still refused to meet Scawen ; the latter therefore 
upon being informed that Fitzgerald was in the St. James's 
cofiee room followed, and found him sitting with a large 
party of military and other friends. Addressing him, he 
said, "Mr. Fitzgerald, you have used very unbecoming 
language respecting me, for which you must and sh&ll give 
me satisfaction." Fitzgerald answered he would not meet 
him as he had already forfeited his honour in not keeping 
his appointment, and he would have nothing further to 
say or do with him. Mr. Scawen replied that such language 
was quite consistent with his former conduct, nevertheless 
he must and should give him satisfaction. Fitzgerald 
persisting in refusing, Scawen said, "I trust, Mr. Fitz- 
gerald, that you will not drive me to the necessity of dis- 
gracing both myself and you by a blow, which certainly will 
be the case unless you act more becomingly." Fitzgerald 
once more declared he never would meet him, whereupon 
Scawen gave him a smart stroke upon his head with a 
walking stick. 
Fitzgerald on recovering from the effect of the blow, 



CAPTAIN SCAWEN MEETS FITZGERALD 295 

jumped from his seat to the middle of the room and 
drew his sword, which was scarcely out of its scabbard 
when Scawen took from his coat pocket a loaded pistol, 
cocked, and presented it, assuring him if he advanced a 
single step a brace of balls should be lodged in his body. 
Fitzgerald stood fast, and Scawen continued, " A public 
coffee rooi, Mr. Fitzgerald, is not a fit place to decide the 
question between us. I lament that your obstinacy drove 
me to the necessity of doing as I have. I am still ready to 
attend you wherever you please." The by standers (who 
were numerous) on the production of the pistol, opened to 
the right a-nd left with much agility. Just at that moment 
Captain Ulysses Brown of the Horse Guards, who that day 
happened to be upon duty, came into the Coffee room, and 
finding the unpleasant situation the parties were in, he 
put them both under arrest. They thereupon separated, 
Scawen going up stairs to the Guards' mess room, and 
Fitzgerald retiring to obtain a plaister for his broken head. 
The following day mutual friends arranged matters for the 
disputants crossing the British Channel to decide the busi- 
ness by duel upon the Continent of France, Scawen being 
attended by Captain Nugent of the same regiment with 
himself, (now Sir Nicholas Nugent), Fitzgerald by a Mr. 
Fagan, of whom no one knew any thing more than that he 
lived expensively and in the best society, and was said to 
have arrived at the rank of Colonel of an Irish Brigade in, 
the service of France, which service he had been obliged 
to quit suddenly upon calling out his superior officer, who, 
instead of meeting, had endeavoured to procure his arrest. 
They (Scawen and Fitzgerald) resorted to a frontier town 
upon the borders of Flanders, where they met in the field, 
taking their stations, under the direction of their seconds, 
at twelve paces. Fitzgerald fired first, missed, and while 
Scawen was preparing to fire his pistol, discharged a seconc 
shot and instantly dropped, thereby avoiding the risk of 
his adversary's fire, upon which Captain Nugent cried out 
" Zounds, sir, you have fired two pistols and fallen without 
affording Captain Scawen a fair chance I " Fitzgerald then 



296 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

pretended that his foot had slipped and that he fell by acci- 
ident, for which he begged pardon, adding that he was per- 
fectly satisfied with what Mr. Scawen had done. The seconds 
thereupon retired, and after consulting together for some 
time, determined that in order to wipe off the disgrace 
of the blow Mr. Scawen should submit, pro forma, to have 
a cane held over his shoulder without touching it, by Fitz- 
gerald. This ceremony was accordingly gone through, and 
the combatants returned to England in whole skins, much 
to the dissatisfaction of Scawen's friends, who greatly 
blamed him for submitting to the cane scene. This point of 
etiquette was afterwards much discussed and various 
opinions given upon it, but a majority condemned Scawen, 
which was not quite fair, for having committed his honour 
to his second, Captain Nugent, he was bound to abide by 
his decision. Upon the return of the parties to England, an 
account of the meeting appeared in one of the public daily 
prints bearing the signature of Mr. Fagan, which statement 
Captain Nugent not considering as correct, he published 
a history of the transaction, therein particularly pointing 
out the misrepresentations, but doing so in mild and gentle- 
manlike language. To this Mr. Fagan replied arrogantly 
and vulgarly, which produced from Captain Nugent a 
retort couched in the most severe terms, wherein he clearly 
established Fagan to be a base and deliberate liar, a charac- 
ter the ci devant French Brigader very quietly submitted 
to, and there the matter dropped. 

While upon the subject of Fitzgerald it may be as well 
to state the extraordinary fate that awaited him. After 
being engaged in half a dozen other duels subsequent to 
Scawen's, in every one of which he behaved equally ill, 
especially in those with Daisy Walker and Major Baggs, he 
went to reside in Ireland and there committed a thousand 
enormities. He had engaged in Ms service as a kind of 
led Captain or humble companion, a poor, half crazed old 
man named Brecknock, who for several years had been 
a patriotic writer in a daily news paper called the " Public 
Ledger/' always subscribing his name to his publications. 



THE MEAN LORD LITTLETON 297 

Fitzgerald, aided by this unfortunate, poor Brecknock, in 
a few months after his residence in Ireland, basely murdered 
a very respectable gentleman because he had interfered in 
opposition to some of his wild measures in the county, for 
which offence they were brought to trial and upon the most 
clear and incontrovertible evidence found guilty, sentenced 
to death, and executed. 

Mr. Littleton, another of Fitzgerald's companions in 
iniquity, had all his life been a professed gamester, but un- 
like that class of men in general who are profuse of cash 
when they have it, he was the meanest wretch in existence 
in all matters relative to money or property. Within a 
twelvemonth after the Vauxhall affray, ho succeeded to a 
British peerage, in which character I saw him treated with 
the utmost contempt by a man very much his inferior. I 
was attending an appeal in the House of Lords, when Lord 
Littleton passing through the Lobby, said to the head door 
keeper, " Can you lend me a cambric handkerchief ? My 
rascal has neglected to put one in my pocket." The man 
very abruptly answered he could not, adding whilst the 
noble Viscount was still within hearing, " I'll be damned if 
your dirty Lordship shall rob me of any more, you have 
had two already." This unworthy peer of the realm fre- 
quently called upon my father. I was surprized one morn- 
ing soon after seven o'clock to see him walk in full dressed* 
In a few minutes his carriage drove up, which being an- 
nounced by a servant, ho instantly went to the street door 
abusing his coachman in the groasost terms, and language 
that would have disgraced a Billingsgate fishwoman, con- 
cluding a volley of oaths by, " You scoundrel, did I not 
order you to be at the Savoir viwe a quarter before seven." 1 

" Yes, my Lord," said the man, " and I was not ten 
minutes after tho time." 

" G d damn your blood to all eternity, you rascal ; 
in those ten minutes I lost two thousand guineas ! " 

A new source of oxpenco now sprung up. Bowing ceased 
to be the fashion : every young man that could afford it, 
and many that could not, got sailing boats. Of the latter 



298 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

description I certainly was, nevertheless I must have one, 
commencing with an open skiff carrying only a single sprit 
sail, but by degrees I rose to a half decked vessel with 
boom and gafi main sail, fore sail and jib, furnished by 
my old Westminster friend, Dicky Eoberts of Lambeth. 
In this boat I used to cruise in Chelsea reach when blowing 
hard, so much so that the people on shore often stood 
watching me expecting every moment to see me upset. 
Indeed, I sometimes could not help thinking that I pre- 
sumed somewhat too much upon Mr. Hudson of Twicken- 
ham's prediction that clearly I was not born to be drowned. 
Although Chelsea reach was the part I mostly frequented, 
I sometimes made excursions to Gravesend, the Nore, and 
up the Medway to Chatham, &c., in which expeditions 
Tom Forrest often accompanied me. If I may be allowed 
to praise myself I undoubtedly manoeuvred my little vessel 
with considerable skill and gained the approbation of all 
the watermen. The only assistance I required was one 
boy to stand by the jib and fore sheets when working 
to windward. 

Amongst the earliest of the gentlemen sailors were the 
Honourable Mr. Dillon, Mr. Templer, now Master of the 
King's Bench, Mr. Howorth, Mr. Adair, Eecorder of Lon- 
don, &c. 3 &c. Having formed ourselves into a club, we 
dined together once a week at the Swan tavern,, at 
Chelsea, In a short time it was resolved to have an anni- 
versary of the establishment, upon which day a subscrip- 
tion silver cup should be sailed for, to be presented to the 
proprietor of the successful boat. This match always at- 
tracted a multitude of spectators. When over, we dined 
at Smith's Tea Gardens, finishing the night at Vauxhall. 
So fond did I become of sailing that I went in a post chaise 
to Folkestone in the blustering and bleak month of March 
for the express purpose of returning in a herring cutter, 
during which voyage we encountered a severe gale of wind 
from the Eastward with hail and snow, the sea every 
instant making a complete breach over us. I could not help 
thinking it rather a singular thing to go in search of such 



BOODLE'S 299 

weather by way of pleasure. The cold was so intense that 
I was obliged to have frequent recourse to the gin bottle. 
These sea parties soon made me hold the Chelsea reach 
sailing in contempt. 

About this period my friend, William Cane, commenced 
sailor, having caused a handsome cutter of twenty tons 
to be built for him by Cleverly, the Quaker, of Gravesend. 
With him (Cane) I often went, as I also did with Colonel 
Charles Cooper of the Guards (a natural son of Lord 
Holland's) who had a famous vessel which he called the 
Porpoise. He lived in an excellent house about a mile 
distant from Tilbury Fort, having a charming woman for 
his wife. In this family I spent many happy days, and here 
I often met Mr. James Bigger of the East India house, who 
was as much attached to sailing as any of us. In the same 
neighbourhood resided General Desaguliers and Alderman 
Kirkman, who had both large vessels, but accommodation 
and ease having been made the first object, they could not 
sail with Cane or Cooper's cutters, the latter from being 
fuller in the bows always beat Cane in a high sea, of which 
he became so jealous that he ordered Cleverly to build 
another of such construction as to outsail the Porpoise, and 
the Quaker correctly executed the order, for we never fell 
in with a vessel at all near the same size that we did not 
beat hollow. Of this cutter I shall have occasion to say 
more hereafter. 

Robert Mitford, whom I have already mentioned as one 
of the party that often met at the Shakespear and other 
houses in Covent Garden, was a near relation of the Mr, 
Boodle who from having squandered away a handsome 
fortune was reduced to the necessity of accepting the 
management of one of the fashionable gaming houses in 
Pall Mall which bore his name, being called " Boodle's/* 
and to this Mr. Boodle I was introduced by Mitford, after 
which introduction I spent many a jovial night at his house. 
At the time my acquaintance with him commenced he was 
nearly sixty years of age, and, notwithstanding he had lived 
very freely, had still a good constitution, and was of a re- 



800 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

markably cheerful disposition. He was never happy unless 
he had a parcel of young people about him. I made one of 
upwards of a dozen who usually supped twice a week in 
Pall Mall, where he gave us as much champagne, burgundy 
and claret as we chose, the table being covered with every 
rarity in the way of eating. Nothing delighted him more 
than sitting out the boys, as he called us. Indeed, his 
head was so strong that he generally succeeded in so doing, 
and when he perceived his young guests began to flag, or 
become drowsy, he would get up, lock the door of the room, 
and putting the key in his pocket, strike up the song of 
" 5 Tis not yet day " &c. His companionable qualities were 
extraordinary, and I certainly have passed more happy and 
jovial nights in his back parlour in Pall Mall than in any 
other house in London. 

About this period a circumstance occurred that engrossed 
the public attention. It was the case of General Gansel. 
Being deeply involved in debt, he became apprehensive of 
losing his personal liberty, and, to avoid arrest, for several 
weeks shut himself up at his lodgings in Craven Street, 
where there likewise were other lodgers. A posse of bailiSs 
with writs against him, tired of their fruitless watching for 
him in the street, one day laid siege to his apartment, the 
door of which he had secured in the best possible manner. 
Upon their attempting to force an entrance, he called out 
to say that the first man who presumed to burst open his 
door he certainly would shoot. The bailiffs nevertheless 
persisted in their violence. Whereupon the General dis- 
charged one of his pistols through the door, taking care, 
however, to point it so high as to ensure the balls passing 
over the heads of the assailants. His object of alarming 
them did not succeed ; they broke down the door and rushed 
in, the General exerting in vain all his strength to prevent 
them. In his struggle he fell, and a second pistol which he 
held in his hand at the time went off, but without injury to 
any one. The men then violently laid hands upon him, 
dragged him head long down stairs, placed him in a hackney 
coach, and thus conveyed him to the prison of Newgate, 



THE BAILIFFS AT FAULT 301 

where he was confined on the felon side, and a prosecution 
commenced against him under the Coventry act. Upon 
his trial it was established by evidence that the bailiffs 
had fire arms, that they broke open the door and assaulted 
the General as above stated. The Judge, in addressing 
the Jury, observed that a bailiff employed to execute civil 
process had no right to use fire or any other offensive arms, 
neither could he justify the breaking into a house, that a 
person residing in a lodging house had no other security than 
the door of his apartment, which could not therefore legally 
be forced. An instant acquittal of the General not only 
followed, but the Court ordered a copy of the Indictment 
to be given, which enabled him to proceed against the 
Sheriffs for damages for the assault and false imprisonment 
committed by their officers. This decision was considered 
a great strengthener of the liberty of the subject as prior 
thereto most lawyers were of opinion that if a Sheriff's 
bailiff once got within the street or public door of a house 
he would be justified in entering, even forcibly, any other 
apartment for the purpose of executing writs. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

MORE OF LIFE IN LONDON 

AT the meeting of the Irish parliament this year (1773) 
JLA. an absentee tax was proposed, that is, to make all 
persons who resided out of Ireland but drew their fortune 
from thence, pay four or five per cent upon the amount so 
drawn. This measure, although a popular one in Ireland, 
was strenuously opposed by many men of rank and conse- 
quence in England, amongst whom the principal leaders were 
the Duke of Devonshire, Marquis of Buckingham, Earl of 
Bessborough, Earl of Upper Ossory, Lord Milton, and 
several opulent commoners. These noblemen and gentle- 
men, who all received large incomes from Irish estates, 
united their abilities and influence in opposition to the 
passing of the act. They met at the Marquis of Rocking- 
ham's in Grosvenor Square to consult upon, and adopt, 
those measures most likely to be effective. Through the 
recommendation of Mr. Edmund Burke, I was employed at 
Lord Rockingham's upon this occasion upwards of a month, 
attending daily from nine in the morning until ten, eleven, 
or twelve at night. My chief business was copying circular 
letters, and assisting in making them up, sealing, and 
directing. I sat at the same table with the Marquis, who 
I found to be a most affable and pleasing mannered man. 
During such my attendance in Grosvenor Square I had 
thrice the honour of dining with the before named noblemen 
and others who constituted the Committee. The other 
days my dinner was served for me in a small chamber 
adjoining the drawing room in which I wrote. One of the 
days that I dined with the Marquis, I was much pleased with 
some delicious ale which his Lordship said had been brewed 
at Wentworth (his seat in Yorkshire) upwards of twenty 
five years before. It was so soft and grateful to my palate 

302 



THE HORNECKS 308 

that I was induced to take a second glass, upon which Mr. 
William Burke, who sat next to me, cautioned me to mind 
what I was about, the liquor I was so approving of being 
infinitely stronger than brandy and more likely to intoxi- 
cate. Undoubtedly after drinking the second glass I felt 
my head rather light and giddy. 

The opposition thus shewn in England to the Absentee 
tax proved effectual; the question upon being brought 
before the House of Commons of Ireland by the Minister 
there, was lost by a considerable majority. 

In the Autumn young Horneck of the Guards married 
Miss Keppel, a natural daughter of Lord Albemarle's 
then one of the most beautiful creatures I ever beheld and 
not more than fourteen years of age. A more lovely pair 
never were united, but their juvenile appearance made 
them look much more like brother and sister than husband 
and wife. The match was one of love, and for some time 
they were as happy as the accomplishment of their utmost 
wish could render them. In outward appearance she was 
innocence personified, but in mind vicious beyond imagina- 
tion and artful in the highest degree. In a few months after 
their marriage Horneck was ordered upon the Tower duty, 
and as he was not over burthened with cash, his friends 
advised him to part with his house, and put Mrs. Hornock 
into small, ready furnished lodgings, which prudent measure 
he resolved to adopt. Whilst looking for suitable apartments 
he met Captain John Scawen, who belonged to the same 
regiment with himself, who upon hearing what he was 
in search of, kindly offered the loan of his house, at the top 
of Savile Kow, which was in complete order and ready to 
receive Mrs. Horneck in an hour. He said it would be no 
inconvenience to him as he was going upon the recruiting 
service. The friendly offer was therefore accepted, and 
Mrs. Horneck, with her servants, were immediately estab- 
lished in it. This house became the scene of various de- 
pravities, at the head of which stood the two prominent 
ones of drunkenness and prostitution. 

After Horneck had been absent from his Cam sposa, he 



304 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

determined agreeably to surprize her with an unexpected 
visit, for which purpose he prevailed on his commanding 
officer not to notice his sleeping one night out of the Tower, 
and getting into a hackney coach at dusk drove to the West 
end of the town. Quitting the carriage in Piccadilly, he 
walked to Savile row, where meaning suddenly to take his 
lovely girl to his arms, he knocked a single knock, and upon 
a maid servant opening the door he whispered her not to 
announce his arrival and was proceeding up stairs, when the 
maid greatly agitated, entreated him not to go up until she 
had prepared her mistress ; he however paid no attention 
to the woman's desire, went up, and entering the drawing 
room was struck dumb with horror and astonishment at 
seeing his lovely young bride sitting at a small round table 
with bottles and glasses upon it, she being beastly and 
stupidly drunk, her hair dishevelled and bosom quite bare. 
Opposite to her sat her own butler, nearly in the same state 
of intoxication, but upon Horneck's going into the room, 
he contrived to rise from his chair and stagger away until 
forced back by his master. 

Horneck then looked into the sleeping apartment, and 
perceived the bed in a very rumpled state. Einging the 
bell, he ordered all the servants up, when assembled asking 
them the meaning of the disgusting scene he beheld. The 
footman answered that the conduct of his mistress had 
been so publicly abandoned and shameless, they took it 
for granted it must have reached his ears ; that since his 
absence she had scarcely ever been sober for six hours 
together ; that the butler usually dined with her and both 
drank to the same degree of excess he then saw. Upon 
further investigation he learned that she had several times 
got intoxicated previous to his going to the Tower, but had 
then shut herself into her own room, pretending indis- 
position. He had also the melancholy conviction of her 
having before she had been a week his wife prostituted her 
person to many of his immediate and particular friends, 
amongst whom was their host, Scawen ! During this un- 
pleasant enquiry she lay with her head upon the table utterly 



AN IMP OF HELL 305 

insensible to every thing that passed. Horneck 
addressed a letter to the Dowager Lady Albemarle, by ^ 
Mrs. Horneek had been brought up, and with whom she was 
a most extraordinary favorite, the old lady considering 
her almost as a divinity. In his letter he stated the horrible 
and disgraceful facts he had just discovered, which would 
necessarily drive him to seek a divorce. He then returned 
to the Tower, with far different feelings to those he had a 
few hours before left it. 

The following morning, when Mrs. Horneck awoke, she 
had no recollection whatever of any thing that had oc- 
curred, but upon being made acquainted with every 
particular by her Femme de chambre, she with the utmost 
composure dressed herself, ordered her chair and away 
she went to Lady Albemarle's house in Spring Gardens, 
where running up to her Ladyship, who had not yet 
risen, she in a passion of tears, groans and bitter lamen- 
tations bewailed her untoward, her cruel fate, which had 
ordained that her dear, dear but fickle Charles's love should 
thus early be estranged, and what was still moro distressing 
and ungenerous that he should so far forget every principle 
of honour and justice as to accuse her of wronging his bed 
in order to cover his own scandalous infidelity, she having 
just ascertained that he kept no less than three concubines 
in different parts of the town. In short, so well did this 
little imp of hell act her part, and such was the unbounded 
influence she possessed over the mind of her protectress 
that every word she uttered was taken as true, and the 
abandoned girl was pronounced a deeply injured and for- 
saken wife. 

Lady Albemarle forthwith took Mrs. Horneck into her 
house, declaring she would countenance and protect her, 
not only against the unjust and infamous attack of tho 
base husband, but against the unfeeling prejudices of the 
whole world. For several days after the artful hussey 
got thus under the protection of Lady Albemarle she kept 
her room, pretending to be extremely ill from the agitation, 
her spirits had undergone. Her protectress, all anxiety for 



306 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

her angel's health, caused the physicians to visit her regu- 
larly every day. In the mean time Horneck had applied 
to my father to take all the requisite s^eps for procuring 
a divorce and Bill to enable him to marry again, from which 
proceedings I became acquainted with every particular of the 
case. 

Lady Albemarle took Mrs. Horneck to all the parties 
where she herself was invited, always speaking of her as a 
most ill used, innocent, dear girl, a suffering angel ! Her 
Ladyship being engaged one evening at a great entertain- 
ment at the Duchess of Gloucester's, she desired her 
protege to make herself as smart as possible, as all the 
fashionable world would be present. In the morning of the 
day the party was to be Mrs. Horneck, who was an admirable 
actress, pretended that a severe head ache had attacked 
her, whereupon Lady Albemarle, all anxiety, protested she 
would send an excuse to the Duchess and stay at home 
to nurse her. This Mrs. Horneck opposed, saying she was 
sure she should be better after dinner. She however 
scarce eat any and appeared very languid. Again her 
Ladyship determined to send an apology which was again 
strongly opposed by Mrs. Horneck and after a kind con- 
test, at least on Lady Albemarle's part, she so far succeeded 
as to prevail on her Ladyship to go to the party for half 
an hour, her Ladyship's own woman being expressly 
charged not to leave Mrs. Horneck for a moment during 
her absence. Scarce was Lady Albemarle outside the street 
door, when Mrs. Horneck complained violently of the pain 
in her head, saying sleep would relieve her and she would 
therefore lay down. She did so immediately, dismissing 
the attendant and requesting she might not be disturbed 
until she rang the bell. 

In little more than an hour Lady Albemarle returned, 
when anxiously enquiring about her darling child and 
being told what had passed, she was very angry with 
her servant for having left her. "However," said she, 
"come up and let me see the dear angel." Ascending 
to the chamber, she was greatly terrified at finding the 



THE ELOPEMENT 307 

door fastened. She tapped several times without effect, 
when the abigail, seeing her Ladyship's distress applied 
her eye to the keyhole, instantly crying out that Mrs, 
Horneck was lying in the middle of the floor. " Oh, my 
God/' exclaimed her Ladyship, " then what I so much 
dreaded has actually occurred. The dear iE treated child 
has destroyed herself." Men servants being summoned, the 
door was broken open but no " dear ill treated child " 
was to be found. The clothes she had worn that day lay 
heaped together on the carpet, with a lighted candle placed 
near them. The bird had flown ; a hue and cry was in- 
stantly raised, when one of the men servants said he had 
that evening seen Mrs. Horneck going down the back 
stairs, as he was accidentally passing the foot of them, and 
was somewhat surprized at observing her dressed in a riding 
habit ; that she wished him a good night and he passed on 
to the servants 5 hall. It was next discovered that she had 
gone through a private gate that led into the park, and left 
the key in the lock. Lady Albemarle now concluded she 
was gone to throw herself into the canal and was loudly 
calling for people to have it dragged, when her own woman 
delivered a letter which she had just found upon Mrs. 
Horneck's toilet. It was addressed to Lady Albemarle. 
After expressing her gratitude for the protection and kind- 
nesses conferred on her, she proceeded to say that she was 
so wretched and miserable from the stigma thrown upon 
her character, in consequence of which the women every 
where looked coldly and contemptuously at her that she 
could no longer endure it and had therefore put herself 
under the protection of Captain Scawen, with whom she 
was going to the Continent and who would she was con- 
vinced behave towards her like a man of honour. Poor 
Lady Albemarle was sadly mortified at such an indisputable 
proof of her young favorite's profligacy and duplicity. 

Mrs. Horneck continued to reside with Captain Scawen 
at Paris and elsewhere in France in open adultery, until 
Horneck went through the usual course of proceedings to 
free himself from her, which having effected, Captain Scawen 



SOS MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

was blockhead enough immediately to marry her, and she 
behaved as faithlessly to him as she had to her first hus- 
band, involving him in such a load of debt as ultimately 
proved his ruin. 

My father at this time belonged to a society of Hterary 
men who met at the St. James's Coffee house. 1 At one of 
the dinners much wit had passed at the expense of Doctor 
Goldsmith, upon whom, as if dead, some of the gentlemen 
present wrote epitaphs which excited great mirth. After 
the laugh had in some measure subsided the Doctor was 
called upon to retaliate, in consequence of which he, in 
two days after, 2 produced the following lines which he 
called "Retaliation." 3 

1 This famous coffee-house, frequented by Swift and Addison, no longer 
exists. ED. 

2 The writer expresses what was apparently a belief at the time. 
A statement is prefixed to the first edition that the Poem was produced 
at the " next meeting " of the club ; but Mr. Austin Dobson, in his notes 
to the Poem (Oxford Edition of Goldsmith's complete works, published 
by Henry Frowde) says this statement is manifestly incorrect, and that 
the Poem was composed and circulated in detached fragments. ED. 

3 The writer sets out the Poem at length, but as it is to be found 
in all editions of Goldsmith's complete works, it is unnecessary to give 
it here. The references made in the Poem to the writer's father may, 
however, be quoted : 

" To make out the dinner, full certain I am, 
That Ridge is anchovy and Reynolds is lamb, 
That Hiekey's a capon, and by the same rule, 
Magnanimous Goldsmith a gooseberry fool." 

" Here Hickey reclines, a most blunt, pleasant creature, 
And slander itself must allow him good nature : 
He cherish' d his friend, and he relished a bumper ; 
Yet one fault he had, and that one was a thumper. 
Perhaps you may ask if the man was a miser ? 
I answer, no, no, for he always was wiser : 
Too courteous, perhaps, or obligingly flat ? 
His very worst foe can't accuse him of that : 
Perhaps he confided in men as they go, 
And so was too foolishly honest ? Ah no I 
Then what was his failing ? Come, tell it, and burn ye ! 
He was, could he help it 2 a special attorney." 

It is particularly interesting in connection with the present work to 
have Mr. Austin JDobson's notes on these passages as given in the 
Oxford Edition of Goldsmith's works, before alluded to. The editor, 
therefore, ventures to repeat them. Mr. Dobson aaye: "He (Hickey) 



THE END OF THE MOHAWKS 309 

Early in the year 1774 the outrages committed by the 
Mohawk quartette became so gross and frequent as at last 
to attract the notice and interference of the Police Magis- 
trates, who, in consequence, set some of their myrmidons 
upon the watch. Those underling ministers of justice soon 
discovered the objects of their attention engaged in a 
violent riot in the play house of Covent Garden, where they 
had insulted and beat several person^. Whereupon they 
seized and carried them bodily off to the Watch house, 
positively refusing bail. In the morning they were taken 
before the sitting Justice in Bow Street, where the different 
parties aggrieved appeared against them, especially a 
gentleman who swore to Hamilton's having, without any 
provocation, spit in his face. Several were bound by 
recognizances to prosecute, and the Mohawks were all held 
to bail in very large sums. 

Hamilton, finding himself thus seriously attacked, deemed 
it prudent to decamp, thereby forfeiting his recognizances. 
He, however, had honour enough previous to his departure 
to indemnify the different tradesmen who upon his credit 
had become bail for himself and colleagues. He took up 
his residence in Paris. 

Mr. Hayter, Senior, ashamed of the behaviour of his son, 
whom he had made many ineffectual attempts to reclaim, 
upon the last public complaint did stand forward to bail 
him, which having done, he instantly sent him off to 

was a jovial, good-natured, over-blunt Irishman, the legal advisor 
of both Burke and Reynolds. Indeed, it was Hickey who drew 
the conveyance of the land on which Reynolds' house, next 
to the * Star and Garter ' at Richmond (Wick House), was built by 
Chambers, the architect. Hickey died in 1794. Reynolds painted 
his portrait for Burke, and it was exhibited at the Boyal Academy 
in 1772. ... Sir Joshua also painted Miss Hickey in 1769-1773. Her 
father, not much to Goldsmith's satisfaction, was one of the Paris 
party in 1770. 

" In Cumberland's Poetical Epistle to Dr. Goldsmith or Supplement to 
his Retaliation (Gentleman's Magazine, August, 1778, p. 384), Hickoy'j* 
genial qualities are thus referred to : 

" { Give Ridge and Hickey, generous souls ! 
Of whisky punch convivial bowls.* " 



310 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Holland with a view to put an end to the vile set he had 
associated himself with. 

Osborne, upon losing the advantage of Hamilton's purse f 
found himself alike bankrupt in character and fortune. 
He therefore embarked for his native shores of America, 
persuading Frederick to accompany him and try his for- 
tune on the other side of the Atlantic. The latter there 
entered as a volunteer in one of the King's regiments, in 
which situation he behaved so well as shortly to obtain a 
Commission, within a twelvemonth from which time he was 
killed in one of the hard fought battles of which so many 
occurred in that country. 

Thus ended the career of four young men who for a 
period of three years continued in one uninterrupted course 
of folly, intemperance and riot, to the utter disgrace of 
themselves, and of the police of the capital, which was 
either so relaxed, or so corrupt as to permit their course of 
iniquity to proceed uninterrupted. 

By this time I had with my usual want of resolution once 
more yielded to temptation, and fallen into all my old bad 
habits. Dear, lovely woman, I never could resist. A 
famous bailiff named Willis generally contrived to get the 
writs that were issued against those unfortunate women 
directed to him. He kept a lock up house in Great Earle 
Street, Soho, and although by profession a tailor, he had 
fitted it up most elegantly as a tavern. Here we assembled, 
feeding upon every luxury procurable by money, and drink- 
ing the most expensive French wines. 

An inevitable consequence of such a course of life to me 
was that I got rid of much more cash than my allowances 
afforded, and therefore incurred considerable debts. While 
my sword, watch, or any valuable article of dress remained 
in my possession transferring the same to a Pawn broker 
secured me three or four guineas upon emergency. When 
all those sources were exhausted I had recourse to my 
former disgraceful practice, expending upon my own extra- 
vagancies and follies large sums of money intended to pay 
Counsel's fees, and other matters of business, 



AN INDULGENT BAILIFF 

Willis never scrupled letting any woman whom he had 
arrested leave his house at pleasure to go to the theatres, 
opera, or any other public place they chose, until the writ 
was returnable, and in no one instance did he ever suffer 
thereby. If the person arrested failed in her exertions to 
raise the amount due amongst her own immediate friends, 
we who frequented the house made up the deficiency by 
subscription. 

The dissipated kind of life I had again fallen into could 
not escape the penetrating eyes of my father. He over and 
over again cautioned me, bidding me recollect all that had 
already occurred, and take care how I acted, but all in 
vain, and another important crisis of my life was now fast 
approaching. 

In the month of August Mr. Farrer one evening surprized 
us all at the " Shakespeare " very much by telling us he 
should depart for the East Indies in a few days, through 
having been informed from authority that a new Court was 
upon the eve of being established in Bengal under the direc- 
tion of four Judges to be nominated by His Majesty, in which 
Court he understood there would be a great opening for tho 
exercise of talents and industry at the Bar. He was deter- 
mined to go out and try what he could do for himself as an 
Advocate. He accordingly took his leave of us that night* 

Shortly afterwards an Act of Parliament was brought in 
and passed, whereby Warren Hastings, Esqr. then Governor 
of Bengal, was appointed Governor General of India, 
General Sir John Clavering, Colonel Monson, and Philip 
Francis, Esqr. members of the Supreme Council, those four 
gentlemen constituting the Government. By the same Act 
the Supreme Court of Judicature was formed, Sir Elijah 
Impey being appointed Chief Justice, Stephen Csesar 
Lemaitre, Robert Chambers, and John Hyde, Esquires, 
puisne Justices, the above named Supreme Council and 
Judges departing foi India in the month of September 
(1774) on board of two old Indiamen, which were engaged 
and fitted up for the express purpose of conveying them to 
Asia. Mr. Farrer reached Calcutta some time before them, 



312 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

announcing himself as the avant courier of His Majesty's 
new Court, in which he was to be the leading Advocate. The 
consequence of this well concerted plan was that he forth- 
with received retainers to an incredible amount, every 
native of rank or wealth being anxious to secure to himself 
the advantage of the new lawyer's surprising abilities ! 
I myself heard Parrer declare that previous to the arrival 
of the Judges he had received in hard cash upwards of 
five thousand pounds as retainers alone ! In September 
1775 the Supreme Council and Judges reached Calcutta, 
and on the 22nd of October the Court opened, Mr. Farrer 
being then admitted an Advocate thereof, and as he was 
the only regular bred English lawyer belonging to it, and 
possessed more than ordinary talents, his most sanguine 
hopes were soon realized by his acquiring a noble fortune. 

Just at this period my respected friend, Mr. Edmund 
Burke was instrumental in saving the life of a person under 
extraordinary circumstances. A Captain Jones, of the 
Eoyal Artillery, was taken up on a charge of having 
committed an offence with a boy, the apprentice and 
nephew of a man who kept a small toy shop in Parliament 
Street, Westminster. It so happened that the Sessions at 
the Old Bailey were just drawing to a conclusion at the time 
of the accusation against Captain Jones, who was appre- 
hended late in the evening of a Tuesday, and before twelve 
o'clock the next day was laying under sentence of death in 
Newgate. The only strong evidence on the trial was that 
of the boy himself, who swore positively to the fact. The 
prisoner made no other defence than generally denying the 
charge, which he asserted to be entirely false and unfounded. 
The Jury however gave credit to the boy's testimony ; found 
the prisoner guilty and he was sentenced to death. 

Captain Jones having been a man generally known and 
lespected, also much admired as one of the finest skaters in 
Europe, the public were at once astonished at the charge, the 
trial, and condemnation ; nothing else was talked of. His 
universal character was that of being a man of the nicest 
honour, possessing uncommon sweetness of temper, with 



THE CASE OF CAPTAIN JONES 813 

habits of conviviality and sociability. He was likewise con- 
sidered as peculiarly fond of the fair sex. He was a prodigious 
favourite in his Corps, every officer of which from the Com- 
mandant General Desaguliers down to the youngest subal- 
tern declared it to be their firm opinions and belief that he 
was incapable of committing a disgraceful crime and that 
had they received the least previous intimation of such an 
accusation, they would, one and all, have voluntarily 
appeared at the Old Bailey to avow such were their senti- 
ments and to give him that character his merits so justly 
entitled him to. He had the further merit of providing for an 
aged mother and for a sister, both of whom he furnished 
with all the common comforts of life. 

Soon after Captain Jones's conviction the Sessions paper 
was, as usual, published. A gentleman who wan perusing it in 
a public coffee room expressed his astonishment and disgust 
thereat to another person who sat near, but was wholly un- 
known to him, observing, " This trial, which 1 now hold in my 
hand, exhibits an instance of greater depravity, of more gronB 
and deliberate perjury than I ever met with before, for the 
uncle here in the most unqualified terms swears that he 
never in his life know the boy (his nephew) to tell a lie, nay, 
on the contrary, such was MB love of truth that he had many 
times voluntarily acknowledged faults, although convinced 
personal punishment must be the consequence. Now this 
is most abominable and not to bo endured. I am intimate 
in the family, have been acquainted with the boy from his 
early infancy, and know him to be, as he has always been, 
the most notorious and infamous liar. I was once present 
at a chastisement inflicted by this very uncle upon his 
nephew for a falsehood not only told but persisted in with 
the most determined and persevering obstinacy, which 
chastisement appeared to me so severe that I interfered, 
not from pity for the vile youth, but actually to prevent his 
being murdered ! " The stranger upon hearing thin im- 
mediately said, " Sir, it becomes your bounden duty, not 
only for the sake of public justice, but for the preservation 
of the life of an injured and probably innocent gentleman, 



814 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

without losing a moment to publish the fact you have just 
stated." The first speaker acceded to the propriety of such 
a measure, and accordingly went before a Magistrate the 
following day and swore to the same effect, his account 
being supported and verified by a maid servant who lived 
in the family and was present when the punishment was 
inflicted by the uncle. 

These two depositions made their appearance in one 
of the daily news papers, which paper happening to be 
read by His Grace the Duke of Richmond, struck him 
very forcibly. He sent for the trial, with the whole of 
which he was much dissatisfied, and instantly com- 
mitted his sentiments thereon to paper, which he dis- 
patched to the Earl of Suffolk, then one of His Majesty's 
principal Secretarys of State. This produced a respite, 
pending which the Judge who presided at the trial was 
applied to officially and asked whether he entertained any 
doubts as to the propriety of the verdict. The Judge 
replied that he had none and thought the evidence fully 
justified the finding of the Jury, conviction, and sentence. 
Such being the case, the Sheriff was directed to inform 
Jones he would undoubtedly suffer at the expiration of the 
respite, the same communication being made to the Duke 
of Richmond. His Grace's opinion respecting the trial 
continuing unaltered, he mentioned the circumstances to 
Mr. Burke at the door of my father's house, at which he 
had just knocked, being to dine with us. Mr. Burke saw 
the matter exactly in the same light as the Duke did, and 
at His Grace's earnest request, he promised to address Lord 
Suffolk upon the subject. On entering the drawing room he 
called for pen, ink, and paper, when sitting down at my 
sister's dressing table, he wrote the following letter : 
" My Lord, 

n T "^ afiair k which P ublic ^stice is concerned 
will, 1 hope, excuse the liberty I take in applying to 
youx Lordship. I understand that one Jones, now under 
sentence of death in Newgate for a detestable offence, 
is to be executed of course on Tuesday next unless he 



EDMUND BURKE SAVES A LIFE 315 

receives his pardon, or reasons are laid before the King 
which may make a further reprieve advisable. In 
wishing that the execution of this unhappy man may be 
stayed I do not mean to ask any favour towards him. 
It is a favour to those who advise His Majesty that they 
may give themselves time to consider well the circum- 
stances of a most extraordinary case. I have nothing to 
say in mitigation of an offence which admits no pallia- 
tives, nor in favour of a man whom I do not know. If 
the crime be well and juridically ascertained the criminal 
deserves his punishment, but the part upon which I take 
the liberty of recommending a respite is the insufficiency 
of the evidence ; the evidence of a boy of thirteen years 
of age who does not know how to estimate life, to value 
character, or fear punishment, here, or hereafter, single 
and unsupported by other positive testimony, by charac- 
ter and general opinion, or by circumstances strong 
and violent, is not in my poor opinion, sufficient to 
justify a sentence of death. If the rigour of the law 
admits of such evidence, it is a rigour for the correction 
of which the prerogative of mercy is lodged very properly 
and necessarily in the Crown. The principle of this case 
is the most material part of it. If human society be 
corrupted by the vice in question, it is overturned by the 
admission of such testimony. I say nothing of the man's 
total denial of the fact, nor of the subsequent affidavits 
which weaken this evidence, such as it is, because when I 
write to a man of your Lordship's knowledge and liber- 
ality I would not divert my own argument, or your 
attention, from the great material and leading principle 
of the case. Neither do I comment upon the hitherto 
profligate and inhuman language of the news papers, 
because I am persuaded that your Lordship will not be 
affected by them, but just to remind you that such 
papers as those, however they may endeavour to mis- 
lead, do by no means direct the public judgment, but 
that every honest man in the Kingdom, whatever his 
sentiments in politics may be, will have but one opinion 
with His Majesty's servants in preserving inviolable his 
sacred and amiable prerogative of mercy whenever it is 
exerted in cases where the laws, whether by an over 



316 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

rigour, or an improper application to the case, come to 
transgress their genuine purpose, or lead to a dangerous 
tendency ; and these I know to be the sentiments of many 
great and good men, I do seriously apprehend that the 
reputation of the National Justice is concerned in this 
business, and that His Majesty's Government will not be 
strengthened or honoured by the example. I neither 
know this unhappy man, his family, his connections, or 
any friend that he has in the world : I have not had an 
application from one of them : I use this liberty with 
your Lordship upon a public principle, from my very 
great regard to the administration of Justice and mercy 
in this Kingdom. I do not know how further to apologize, 

" But am, My Lord, 
" Your Lordship's most obedient humble servant, 

" EDMUND BTJRKE." 

In consequence of this letter Captain Jones was respited 
a second time, and subsequently received the royal pardon 
upon condition of transporting himself for life out of His 
Majesty's dominions. 



CHAPTER XXV 

DRIVEN FIIOM HOME 

IN September (1774) Parliament was suddenly and un- 
expectedly dissolved, which, created the usual confusion, 
and many violent contests between the Court and patriotic 
parties. In the City of London, the Ministerial Candidates 
had no chance, nor could an opponent be found to stand for 
Middlesex, where Wilkes and Serjeant Glynn were unani- 
mously elected, just after which Wilkes had the further 
triumph of being chosen Lord Mayor. The three preceding 
years the Liverymen had returned his name by an immense 
majority, notwithstanding which the Court of Aldermen 
each time rejected him, and named the Alderman returned 
with him, but finding the Livery determined to persist, and 
that they (the Court of Aldermen) were rendering them- 
selves odious and unpopular, they ceased to oppose, and the 
favorite was appointed to the City Chair, and on the 9th 
of November entered upon the duties of his new office. 

There was a violent struggle for Westminster, where Earl 
Percy, son to the Duke of Northumberland, and Lord 
Thomas Pelham Clinton, son to the Duke of Newcastle, 
supported by Government, were opposed to Lord Mount- 
morres, a famous Irish patriot, and Lord Mahon, son to Earl 
Stanhope, of the popular party. The Ministerial Candidates 
however succeeded by a large majority. At this General 
Election Mr. Burke had the high compliment paid him of 
being invited to represent the opulent and ancient City of 
Bristol, an offer he accepted. Whereupon a Committee 
consisting of the principal gentlemen of the place was 
immediately appointed to manage the election, and so 
determined were they that Mr. Burke should not be put to 
the smallest expense that they not only paid his travelling 
charges to Bristol, but even the turnpikes on the road, 

317 



S18 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Mr. Burke carried the election by a great number of 
votes, Mr. Brickdale, one of the old members, being thrown 
out. 

Towards the end of the year the lamentable contest with 
America commenced, which, as every body knows, con- 
cluded by their total estrangement from the mother country, 
and to descend from great things to small, just at this time 
one of my boon companions, Gilly Mahon, an Irish adven- 
turer who lived by his wits, went off with Miss Russell, a 
smart dashing girl of good family, she being related to the 
Earls of Shelburne and Kerry. The personal accomplish- 
ments of the lady were not what caught Gilly, but the more 
substantial merit of two thousand guineas, which she had 
at her own disposal, besides a prospect of future pecuniary 
advantages. She had five brothers, all fashionable young 
men of high ton, every one of whom vowed vengeance 
against Gilly for seducing a sister of theirs, nor would 
Mahon, who was as bold as a lion, have hesitated to meet 
them all in turn had he been called upon, which he was not, 
the prudent relatives upon second thoughts resolving to 
leave the inconsiderate girl to her fate. 

Gilly and his fair friend went over to Paris, where 
they resided several months, until growing tired of each 
other they had to part, he assuring her he would fulfil 
his promise by marrying her whenever she required him 
to go through that ceremony. With these liberal senti- 
ments of each other they both returned to London, Gilly 
resuming his former avocation, the lady embarking in 
splendid prostitution, in which capacity she soon reached 
the top of the ton, and was distinguished by the title 
of " the bird of paradise." There was a trifling circum- 
stance that the hero had not thought necessary to impart 
to his inamorata, which was neither more nor less than 
that when he went off with her he had a wife living, 
of which fact Miss Russell was soon apprized by one of 
her brothers, but it made not the slightest alteration in 
her attachment. About four months after their return from 
Paris the good natured spouse removed herself out of the 



SOME FRAIL WOMEN 819 

way, by dying, whereupon the, Bird sent to Mahon to say 
that as he could now with propriety take a wife she should 
like to have a right to bear his name, and sometimes perhaps 
make him liable for a milliner's bill. He making no objection, 
they were without further loss of time joined together in holy 
wedlock. They however never afterwards lived together, 
though apparently very civil to each other when they met 
in public, as they frequently did. She certainly was a lively 
little creature and an admirable companion, with whom I 
have spent very many cheerful days. She bore, by Mahon, 
one child, a fine boy, of whom I shall say more by and by. 

The winter was productive of much intriguing amongst 
the theatrical tribe. The celebrated actor, Mr, Smith, 
having attached himself to the beautiful Mrs. Hartley, the 
heroine of the Vauxhall riot, Dodd, the comedian, to Mrs. 
Bulkeley, thentofore Miss Wilford, a dancer and tolerable 
actress, and Baker, the singer, (a married man) to Mrs. 
Mattocks, all the three ladies having husbands living in 
London, who very quietly consented to wear horns, and 
when the respective gallants were tired, good naturedly 
took back the inconstant wives. 

Mr. Bradshaw, who filled a lucrative situation in the 
Treasury, which he had obtained from being a favorite of 
Lord North's, in the month of December put a period to his 
life, by blowing out his brains with a pistol ; unbounded 
extravagance having involved him deeply in debt, was 
supposed to have occasioned the rash act. Being of a gay 
and social disposition, his company was much sought. He 
was brother to the supercargo at China, who I was sorry 
suffered to the amount of five thousand pounds by his 
death, this brother having recently remitted so much to 
him to lay out in the public funds, instead of doing which 
he applied it to his own use. 

This winter Robert Mitford's father died, leaving to his 
eldest son, who had acquired a large fortune as Commander 
of the Northumberland East Indiaman and retired from 
the service, thirty thousand pounds, and a like sum to 
Robert, with the succession to the business, which was said 



320 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

to yield a clear profit of upwards of three thousand pounds 
a year. 'The young coxcomb condescended to accept the 
shop, but being ashamed that his fine acquaintances should 
know that he was in trade, he rarely made his appear- 
ance in Cornhill, took a splendid house at the West end 
of the town, kept a dashing equipage, became a member 
of the Cocoa tree and other clubs, gambled, lost, and in 
less than three years was completely ruined, and a com- 
mission of bankruptcy being issued against the Woollen 
Draper's house, he was reduced to the necessity of going 
out an adventurer to India. He died broken hearted at 
Madras soon after his arrival there. 

The repeated examples that occurred before my face of 
the sad consequences attending unjustifiable expence and 
dissipation had, unfortunately, no more than a momentary 
effect upon me. I transgressed, repented, and transgressed 
again, thus continuing an endless course of folly. During 
the last two years I had sometimes been extremely ill. 
Mr. Hayes, the surgeon who attended me, frequently 
remonstrated observing that death and destruction must 
inevitably be the consequence of the life I led, and never 
shall I forget a speech he once made me. I had, as was 
often the case, thrown myself into a salivation, when my 
head suddenly swelled to an enormous size, my tongue and 
mouth became so inflamed I could take no other nourish- 
ment than liquids, in which forlorn state he found me, when 
instead of the pity and condolence I expected, he, in a great 
rage, swore he had a strong inclination to leave me to die a.s 
I richly deserved. His passion having vented itself, he with 
more temper said, "Indeed, indeed, William, you are 
playing the devil with a very fine constitution, for which 
folly, should you ever reach the age of forty, which I think 
impossible, your unfortunate body and bones will pay most 
severely." He proved a false prophet as to the length of my 
life, but I have often when agonised with spasm and pain, 
thought of his prediction. This Mr. Hayes married a sister 
of Mr. Basil's of Buckinghamshire, by which connection he 
succeeded to all his valuable property in England and 



A PROLONGED SUIT 321 

Ireland, and became Sir Samuel Hayes, a Baronet, He 
died a few years since. 

Early in the year 1775 a very extraordinary cause that 
had been eleven years depending in the Court of Exchequer, 
my father being the Complainant's Solicitor, came to a linal 
hearing. The parties were Messrs. John and William 
Chaigneau, brothers, and Army agents, residing in Dublin, 
and General Strode, Colonel of the 62nd regiment of Foot, 
These three gentlemen had long lived upon habits of tho 
greatest intimacy and friendship with each other, the 
Colonel appointing Chaigneau his agent the hour ho obtained 
the command of a regiment. Tho General was by nature 
extremely indolent, and although parsimonious to a degree 
that sometimes got him into disgrace, yet he could scarcely 
ever be persuaded to look into an account. His regimental 
accounts therefore wont on from year to year, the agents 
once a year striking a balance, and frequently urging him 
to examine and sign them. His answer always was ho was 
confident they were correct, and he would subscribe his 
name to each year. Still ho neglected doing so. At length 
tho Chaigneaus, being about to take a young gentleman into 
partnership, it became requisite that all old accounts should 
be previously closed. A regular and formal application was 
therefore made to tho General, with fresh copies of each 
balance shoot, tho years being kept quite distinct with the 
vouchers for each in a separate parcel, that tho General might 
refer thereto with tho least pOHttiblo trouble to himself. He 
sot about the examination with much ill will, and greatly 
offended at tho agents pressing for a settlement. 

In the whole of tho voluminous accounts for a period of 
twenty odd years not a single error or cause of complaint 
appeared, which, instead of satisfying and planning the 
Commaader, as it certaihly ought to have done, increased 
his ill temper. He swore there must be a thousand im- 
proper entries, and ho would go over and over again until 
ho ascertained thorn. At last he pitched upon ono item of 
ninety pounds in tho off reckoning account as an over- 
charge. The Agents mildly endeavoured to convince him 



822 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

of the propriety of the charge, but in vain. He grew out- 
rageous, swore they were infamous cheats, and vowed he 
would publish their rascality to the world. 

This was too coarse and disgraceful an accusation for 
men of probity to submit to ; the long standing friend- 
ship was entirely forgotten on both sides, and the General 
became a most implacable and vindictive enemy. As he 
was resolved to contest the accounts, the Chaigneaus em- 
ployed my father, who after fruitlessly exerting himself in 
endeavouring to bring the General to reason and settle 
amicably by arbitration, or in any manner he himself chose 
to adopt, was so offended at the indelicate language he held 
relating to the Chaigneaus that he assured him he should 
advise his Clients to prosecute him for slander and defama- 
tion. Strode thereupon grew warm, saying some rude 
things to my father, who told him in plain terms " he was a 
contemptible blackguard, and as such he would treat him if 
he would quit his house, or declare before witnesses he would 
not prosecute for an assault." This the gallant soldier 
would not do, and my father left him. A Bill was im- 
mediately filed against him. He answered and prepared to 
fight his way inch by inch, and article by article. 

With such inveteracy and animosity was the suit carried 
on that both parties summoned a number of witnesses from 
Ireland. During eleven entire years it never stopped : it was 
before the Barons at least a dozen times in different stages 
and different shapes, and various interlocutory orders were 
made by their Lordships every one most decidedly against 
the General, which seemed only to irritate him the more and 
goad him on to opposition. After the practice of every 
quirk and every quibble the forms of the Court admitted of, 
the cause came on for final hearing, when a decree was 
pronounced giving the Chaigneaus every sixpence they 
claimed, with their full costs ! From which decree the 
General appealed to the House of Lords, which appeal in due 
course coming on, the decree of the Court of Exchequer was 
affirmed, the Appeal being pronounced "frivolous and 
vexatious," for which reason the Lords ordered Strode, the 



ABANDONED 828 

Appellant, to pay one hundred pounds, as exemplary costs ! 
Thus ended a discussion which cost the General no less a 
sum than eleven thousand pounds ! This was paying for 
his obstinacy with a vengeance. 

In March (1775) Mr. Perryn of the Chancery bar (after- 
wards made a Baron of the Exchequer) wrote to my father 
to say he had a large payment to make in a few days and 
therefore wished to receive what was due from the office, 
My father, much surprized, answered he was not aware of 
his office owing any thing, the fees having always accom- 
panied the papers sent. Mr. Perryn replied I was the 
person who had left the papers and best knew what had 
become of the cash. Being referred to I had not a word 
to say. This unpleasant discovery naturally led my father 
to enquire how matters stood with other legal friends, 
the result of which proved equally to my discredit. My 
father found I had involved him to a considerable extent with 
Mr. Maddocks, Mr. Bearcroft, Mr. Ley, and Master Mett. 
No wonder after all that had before occurred this should 
have irritated him beyond measure. Having ascertained 
the extent of the evil he with a degree of coolness that cut 
me to the soul, said, in the presence of all the clerks, " I now 
sec, fatally sec, that you are incorrigible. I have done with 
you for ever. From this hour I abandon you to your fate, 
which must be a deplorable one. It is a cruel circumstance 
that your infamy is likely to fix a stigma upon me and my 
family. Wo must endeavour to console ourselves under a 
consciousness that we do not deserve it. Go, young man, 
leave the house, and never more enter it." He then led mo 
by tho arm to the street, shutting the door upon mo. 

Could. I blame a parent whom I had so repeatedly, so 
grievously offended ? Certainly not, nor did I. Conscience, 
that silent yet powerful monitor, told me I deserved every 
ill that could befall an undutif ul, a perjured wretch, who thus 
ungratefully repaid tho unbounded affection and kindness 
of aft fond and indulgent a parent as over child was blessed 
with. What a sad reflection it is that I am compelled to 
record such accumulated, such repeated disgraceful actions 



S24 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

of myself. My only consolation is that although my follies 
(not to use a harsher term) were so numerous and so often 
repeated, yet my honoured father lived long enough to see 
an end of them, and most heartily and affectionately to 
congratulate me upon my having at last steadily settled in a 
fair, industrious, and honourable line of life, universally 
esteemed and respected in the society amongst whom I 
resided. Thank God that such has been the case and that 
I have not, in addition to my other offences, to answer for 
the truly heavy one of breaking a much loved father's heart. 
Still, my wild oats were not all sown until long after the 
period just mentioned. To return to the event of my 
being driven disgracefully from home. 

I left St. Albans Street, the place of my birth, and where 
I had been brought up with every possible indulgence 
and kindness by the most affectionate parents, with feelings 
I cannot attempt to describe. At times I could not help 
indulging a hope that my father (whose partiality towards 
me I knew so well and had so greatly presumed upon) would 
in some measure relent, but upon a recollection of the 
heinousness of my offences, the fond idea vanished as soon 
as formed. What then was to become of me ? An out- 
cast ! Bankrupt alike in character, fame, and fortune ! 
Lost in gloomy meditation, I wandered about the town until 
a late hour in the evening, when I entered Lowe's Hotel in 
Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, went to bed, and there 
passed as wretched and miserable a night as ever unfortu- 
nate or guilty man did. 

I arose at eight in the morning, paid half a crown for 
my bed, out of two guineas and an half which I had in 
my pocket when I left home, and with a heavy heart, 
almost to suffocation, walked to Young Slaughter's Coffee 
house in St. Martin's Lane. Misery and distress was so 
strongly depicted in my countenance that upon my enter- 
ing the room and throwing myself on a seat in the most 
retired part, Preston, who kept the house, instantly came 
up to me and kindly taking me by the hand, in the 
most feeling manner, said, "Good God, my dear Mr, 



A FRIEND IN NEED S25 

Hickey, what ails you, what is the matter ? You look dread- 
fully. Can I do any thing for you ? " This soothing address 
proved too much for me, I could not restrain my tears, and 
sobbed aloud, with a sensation in my throat like choking. 

Prom the early hour there was no one in the room 
but the people belonging to the house. Mrs. Preston and 
a very pretty bar maid seemed as much interested about 
me as Preston, and united their endeavours in persuading 
me to go up stairs and lay down. I therefore took the 
friendly advice, Preston himself attending me. When 
alone with him I told him I was ruined, and with agony 
related what had occurred without attempting pallia- 
tion. The benevolent man exerted himself to console me, 
insisting upon my remaining with him until some plan 
could be adopted for my future support. He then left me 
to take that repose my harassed frame stood so much in 
need of, I slept four hours, which relieved mo greatly, and 
I firmly believe the humane and generous treatment I 
experienced from Preston and his family saved my life. 
His conduct was the more handsome and liberal because 
I, at that time, owed him more than thirty pounds for 
articles furnished me in the Coffee and Club rooms. 

In the afternoon Preston offered, though personally un- 
known, to go and speak to my father on my behalf, which 
1 would not allow from a conviction in my own mind that 
it could not avail I afterwards learned that notwith- 
standing my prohibition the worthy creature actually did 
go to St. Albans Street, and there pathetically stated the 
alarming situation in which I had entered his house, and 
how extremely agitated and ill I still continued. 

At the Cofleo house I remained six days wholly un- 
noticed, and concluded I was for ever abandoned. The 
seventh evening, as I was sitting contemplating the 
melancholy prospect that presented itself in every point 
of view, my young friend Arthur Forrest entered. He 
immediately took a seat by me, saying he had just 
heard from my family the unpleasant occurrence, and 
directly set out in search of me. He lamented that ha 



326 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

could not give me any hopes of my father's relenting, 
who seefned to be offended past forgiveness, and had 
most seriously and positively forbid any one ever to men- 
tion my name before him. Forrest, however, recommended 
my addressing him by letter, to which I objected from 
really and truly being utterly at a loss what to say. To 
make any new protestations I blushed at the thoughts of, 
and felt that they ought not to carry the least weight with 
them. After staying two hours he left me, promising to call 
again the following day. He did so, and renewed his wish 
that I would write with so much earnestness that after re- 
peated refusals on my part I yielded, and did write to my 
father, acknowledging my base ingratitude, and the infamy 
of my whole life, that I had not a shadow of defence to 
offer, neither did I ask or expect ever to be admitted to his 
presence again, my sole object in writing being to bid him an 
eternal adieu, and once more with a heart overflowing with 
gratitude to thank him for his unbounded affection and 
generosity, bestowed, as it had been, upon an ill fated, 
worthless object. 

This letter Arthur Forrest undertook to deliver, three 
days after which he again called, and after some con- 
versation asked whether I should like to go and lodge 
and board at Mr. Malton's, who had taught me perspective 
and geometry, until some line of life could be settled. 
I answered that I was ready to go any where, or do any 
thing my friends, if any I had left, deemed proper. He 
then engaged to arrange all matters for my removal, and 
the next day I went to my former instructor's, who had 
a neat, new house at Chelsea, exactly opposite the Avenue 
leading up to Ranelagh. His family then consisted of him- 
self, at that time about forty five years of age, his wife, 
nearly the same, and remarkably well looking, a shrewd, 
sensible woman, a daughter, Ann, just turned sixteen, with 
a sweet and interesting countenance, their eldest son, 
Thomas, already mentioned, and who was a year younger 
than his sister, Ann ; and besides four younger children, 
two boys and two girls. 



A PERIOD OF REST 327 

I felt some surprize at so sedate and regular a family 
admitting as an inmate such a person as myself, bt the old 
folks received me with the utmost complacency and respect. 
Mr. Malton told me that my father had settled every thing 
respecting my stay at his house, but had desired I might 
not be informed thereof. This was indeed a gratifying 
piece of intelligence to me, as it convinced me my revered 
father still thought of me and my welfare. 

The style of life I had now entered upon was as unlike 
what I had been long used to as could be. Here all was 
regularity, decency, and decorum. The provisions for the 
table, although humble, wore always good, clean, and ad- 
mirably well dressed, consisting of a joint of meat, with 
plenty of excellent vegetables, followed by a pic or a 
pudding. We met at breakfast precisely at eight, dined at 
one, drank tea at five, and supped at half past eight, re- 
tiring to our respective bed chambers rather before ten. 
The children soon became wonderfully attached to me. 

The first month glided away imperceptibly. During tho 
mornings I amused myself by drawing and renewing my 
perspective, tho evenings partly in reading, and partly 
playing cards with the family. 1 never wished to leave 
the house ; the urbanity of manners of the master and 
mistress, and the sprightly playfulness of tho little ones, 
rendered me happier than I had ever before felt* 

Towards tho end of April Ranelagh opened, One of tho 
few families the Maltons kept up an acquaintance with 
was that of the person who had charge of the property, 
and resided in tho Mansion house (part of tho premises), 
His name has escaped my recollection ; he was a well 
informed, gentlemanlike mannered man, who had formerly 
been engaged in an extensive line of commerce, but, being 
unlucky in some considerable speculation**, ho failed* A 
Statute of Bankruptcy issued against him wherein his 
principal creditors, being irritated, they refused to sign his 
Certificate, thereby preventing a renewal of business, and 
he was obliged to live long in retirement and a degree of 
penury At last Sir Thomas Robinson* tine proprietor of 



328 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

Ranelagh, who had been at the same school and afterwards 
at the University with him, and entertained a sincere regard 
for him, hearing that he was in distress, made a point of 
finding out his retreat, with a view to afford him assistance 
and endeavour to establish him once more as a merchant, 
His affairs, however, turned out so much worse than was 
expected that Sir Thomas was obliged to abandon his in- 
tentions, and next offered him the situation of House 
keeper of Ranelagh, which would not only secure a com- 
fortable place of residence for himself and wife, with coals 
and candles, but also a salary of one hundred and fifty 
pounds per annum. The offer was gratefully accepted of. 

This gentleman or his wife called almost daily at Mr. 
Malton's, and he seemed sensible of the civility of my manner 
towards him, always courting my conversation. As he 
early discovered Ranelagh to be a favorite amusement of 
mine, and that I had been a regular and constant fre- 
quenter of it, he very politely presented me with a silver 
ticket, which he observed would not only give me ad- 
mittance to the evening entertainments, but whenever I 
chose it in the day time also, where it would amuse me to 
walk in the Rotunda or Gardens. Of this privilege I availed 
myself frequently, spending several hours of a morning 
roving about the gardens or rowing upon the canal, after 
which I entered the room, and amused myself in playing 
the few tunes I knew upon a very fine harpsichord that 
stood in the orchestra. In these rambles Ann Malton often 
accompanied me, and although I was utterly ignorant of 
music, playing what I did entirely by ear, she always ex- 
pressed herself pleased in my performance and was unwilling 
to let me quit the instrument. 

One morning^ upon entering the parlour to breakfast, 
I found Mr. Malton and his wife dissolved in tears, 
which arose from an account they had just received of 
the untimely death of their old and intimate friend, 
the House keeper of Ranelagh, who had put a period 
to his life. Having left his bed in the middle of the 
night, he dressed and immediately walked into the garden, 



A SUICIDE 329 

where he threw himself into the canal. One of the watch- 
men heard a splash of the water, but imagining it S/rose from 
the fish jumping he took no notice. In the morning how- 
ever, upon hearing that his master was missing, he mentioned 
the circumstance, and the canal being forthwith dragged 
the body was found. This unhappy gentleman's death by 
his own hands shocked me extremely. Though but a recent 
acquaintance, I had a great respect for him, was indebted 
to him for many acts of civility and kindness, and passed 
many happy and profitable hours in his society and con- 
verse. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

OFF TO JAMAICA 

Ethe beginning of July my father sent a messenger to 
lesire I would go home the next day. I accordingly went 
to St. Albans Street, when my father without recurring to 
former faults, or any upbraidings, to my infinite surprize told 
me that Mr. Burke had recommended my going to the West 
Indies to practice the law in the Island of Jamaica, where all 
of that profession prospered exceedingly with only common 
attention and industry ; that both Mr. Burke and his brother, 
Eichard, had connections there who would, for their sakes, 
exert themselves to promote my interest and success should 
I prove commonly deserving. He also said, as I had served 
my full clerkship, at least in point of time, it would be 
advisable for me to procure my admission to the Boll of 
Attornies of the Court of Bang's Bench previous to my 
departure. He then desired me to return to Mr* Maltons' 
to take leave of that respectable family, to whom I was 
under great obligations, and come home again the following 
morning. 

The leave taking was a ceremony I would rather have 
dispensed with, but as that could not be I put the best 
face on, and in the evening informed Mr. Malton I was 
going to the West and not, as I had expected, the East 
Indies, to prepare for which I should leave his house on the 
morrow. He congratulated me upon the bright prospect 
opening to my view, adding that he sincerely wished me 
well. On bidding adieu to the children and their mother, 
the latter shook me with apparent cordiality by the hand, 
saying, "God bless and protect you, sir, and grant that you 
may in a reasonable time return to your own country a rich, 
and what is better, a good man, ' ' with a very strong emphasis 
upon good. The old folks are, I believe, both dead, as is, 

330 



ADMITTED AN ATTORNEY 381 

I am sorry to say, the eldest son, Thomas, who rose to 
great eminence as a beautiful and correct draughtsman. 

And so ended all chance of my resuming a red coat in the 
service of the East India Company, or ever more mount- 
ing a cockade and military sword. 

Upon reaching the house of my nativity I took possession 
of my old chamber, three days after which my father took 
me to Mr. Justice Yate's, one of the Judges of the Court of 
Bang's Bench, who, being a friend of long standing, had 
offered the necessary Certificate, &c. for my admission. 
He received us at his residence in Spring Garden with the 
utmost politeness insisting upon our partaking of his break- 
fast. After conversing for half an hour upon the common 
news of the day, he apologized for dismissing us, as he was 
obliged to go to Westminster earlier than usual to sit for 
the Lord Chief Justice. My father then asked when it 
would be convenient for him to receive me for the purpose 
of examination as to my being equal to the practice of an 
Attorney. The Judge thereupon addressing me with com- 
placency and gentleness said, " Do me the favour to come 
and breakfast with me at eight o'clock to-morrow morn- 
ing, and I will take care every thing shall be ready. In 
the interim send your deed, or articles, to my clerk that 
he may take names, dates, and other particulars from 
them." 

At the time appointed I attended, and in a terrible 
fright I was at the ordeal I imagined I had to pass through, 
and the probable loss I might be at in answering some of 
the many questions I understood would be put to me upon 
points of practice. Being conducted into his parlour where 
the breakfast things were all arranged, in five minutes the 
Judge entered. We sat down, and he recommended his 
French rolls and muffins as of the best sort, but so pre- 
dominant were my fears about the dreaded examination that 
I had no inclination to eat. Breakfast being over, he asked 
me how I liked the Law, how long I had been out of my 
clerkship, and two or three other questions equally un- 
important, when a servant entered to announce the carriage 



332 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

being at the door, whereupon he desired his clerk to be 
called, up c on whose appearance he enquired whether Mr. 
Hickey's Certificate was ready. The clerk having it and 
other papers in his hand, the Judge took it from him, and 
after perusal subscribed his name, and then said, ce Now, 
Mr. Btickey, if you will be so good as to accompany me to 
Westminster Hall, I will get you sworn, and the business 
concluded." I accordingly stepped into his coach which 
conveyed us to Westminster, and immediately going into 
Court, where he had taken his seat upon the Bench, the 
proper officer was asked whether he had the roll, and 
answering in the affirmative my Certificate was delivered 
to him and read, as was also an affidavit of my master, 
Mr. Bayley's. This being done the Judge ordered the oaths 
to be administered to me, after which, and my subscribing 
my name to each, I was entered upon the Eoll as an At- 
torney, and making a respectful bow to the Bench and 
Bar, I retired, most agreeably relieved from my apprehen- 
sions respecting the various interrogatories I had expected 
would be put to me on the subject of my qualifications. 

The following day my father gave me a letter, which 
he desired I would myself deliver to Messrs, Nesbitt's, 
eminent merchants, in Bishopsgate Street, the purport of 
it being to request they would procure for me a passage 
to the West Indies in one of their ships. I found Mr. 
Arnold Nesbitt in the Counting house, who after reading 
the letter assured me both himself and brother should feel 
pleasure at all times in complying with any desire of Mr, 
Hickey's. He said they should dispatch four ships within 
the ensuing two months, and he would advise my proceeding 
by the New Shoreham, a very fine ship, and commanded 
by a respectable and worthy man. " I presume," added 
Mr. Nesbitt, " your father knows that the passage money, 
and all those sort of matters, must be arranged with the 
Commander previous to the ship's departure, as we owners 
never interfere about passengers, what they pay being a 
perquisite of the Captain's." He then wrote an answer to 
my father's letter, and on his desiring me to call again 



THE TWIN BROTHERS PERREAU 333 

upon kirn that day week, when he would introduce me 
to the Captain, I took leave. 

I now once more became a gentleman at large, ranging 
about in the circle of friends 3 but the scantiness of my supplies 
would not allow of my frequenting public places so fre- 
quently as I had formerly done. During my perambula- 
tions I often met Mr. Daniel Perreau, the youngest of the 
unfortunate twin brothers who made such a disgraceful exit 
from the world. He had just purchased a handsome house 
in Upper Harley Street, which he had furnished in a most 
expensive and fashionable style, kept a coach, and in every 
other respect made the appearance of being in possession 
of a large income, which it was supposed arose from con- 
siderable plantations in the West Indies. His elder brother, 
Robert, was an apothecary in great practice, and of the 
highest respectability, who had long been a neighbour of 
my father's in St. Albans Street. 

Daniel had upon several occasions employed my father 
as his Attorney, and recently so in preparing the con- 
veyance of the above mentioned house. Early in the 
morning of the day fixed upon for the execution of the 
deeds and payment of the purchase money, he called 
at the office to tell my father he had been disappointed 
of three thousand pounds which he expected to have 
received, and found himself from that circumstance fifteen 
hundred guineas short of the amount to be paid for 
the house ; that unless my father could assist him, the 
completion of the business must be deferred, which he 
should be sorry for, the proprietor of the premises having 
come out of Somersetshire for the sole purpose of making 
the transfer that day ; that within a week he should be cer- 
tain of having it in his power to reimburse him. My father, 
happening to have the sum required in his Banker's hands, 
drew for it, and the matter was finally adjusted, Mr. Per- 
reau expressing his warmest thanks for the accommodation 
and most punctually repaying the amount at the period he 
had promised. Had my father entertained the most dis- 
tant suspicion of his client's real situation at the time of 



334 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

the above^ transaction and while he remained so seriously 
his debtor, he would have been in dreadful alarm. 

I had accepted an invitation to join a very jovial party, 
male and female, and sup at Vauxhall, but having only one 
solitary guinea in my pocket, which I knew would not be 
adequate to the expence of the evening, I was quite at a 
loss how to raise a supply, and taking a solitary walk in 
St. James's park ruminating upon " ways and means," 
and how it would be possible to strengthen my purse, or 
what article I possessed of sufficient value to induce my 
friend Trip, a Pawnbroker in St. Martin's Lane, to advance 
two or three guineas, I saw Mr. Daniel Perreau stepping 
out of his carriage at the stable yard gate, who immediately 
joined me. During our walk together he asked me a number 
of questions respecting my future plan of life, and whether 
I was to follow my father's profession in London. I told 
him I was almost immediately going to Jamaica, as I found 
the temptations of London led me into more expence than 
I could afford. " I wonder at that," said he, " for I should 
suppose your office very productive in fees, and apropos, 
that brings to my recollection that from my being short of 
cash when my conveyance was executed, I omitted to pay 
the usual fee to the clerk. Permit me therefore now to 
remedy that error," and taking out his purse, he presented 
me with five guineas, which I received with much satis- 
faction, feeling that it would enable me to bear my share of 
the Vauxhall bill without a disagreeable reference to the 
three, Uue balls! 

Only four days after the above circumstance had oc- 
curred Mr. Belliard, an eminent wholesale jeweller of 
Pall Mall, came in great haste to our office to say the 
two Perreaus had just been taken up upon a charge of 
forgery, and were actually both committed to Tothill 
fields Bridewell; that he was under great alarm respecting 
a valuable ring belonging to him, which was in Daniel 
Perreau's possession, he having about three months before 
been at his house to say he wanted to purchase a single 
stone diamond ring which he wished to be of the finest 



HOW A RING WAS SAVED 335 

lustre, and large, intending it as a family ring Jo descend 
to his future progeny ; that he (Mr. Belliard) thereupon 
told him he had a very brilliant one which he conceived 
would exactly suit, instantly opening his iron chest and 
producing it. Upon inspection Mr. Perreau observed it 
undoubtedly was uncommonly beautiful, but he had an 
insuperable objection to the shape, which was somewhat 
of a heart. He, however, put it on his finger, which it 
happened to fit exactly, and again admiring the water as 
exquisite, directed Mr. Belliard as soon as possible to 
procure one for him of the same size, but of another form, 
which he promised to do, requesting Perreau would keep 
and wear the one he then had on, " for," says he, " as I 
keep no shop it will be more seen and more likely to be sold 
upon your finger than if shut up here ; only have the good- 
ness, when noticed, to say that it belongs to me, that it is 
for sale, and the price two thousand guineas." Upon 
these conditions Mr. Perreau took away the ring, and 
whenever any person admired it, he invariably stated the 
foregoing particulars. 

To recover this ring was the object of Mr. Belliard's 
visit, who requested my father would accompany him 
to the prison for that purpose. Mr. Belliard's carriage 
being at the door, I was desired to attend as a witness 
to what should pass. Upon reaching the place of con- 
finement and enquiring for the unfortunate brothers, we 
were conducted into a large, well furnished apartment, 
where they both were. Upon our entrance Robert covered 
his face with his handkerchief, and bursting into tears, 
sobbed aloud, while Daniel, on the contrary, approached 
us with as much apparent ease and nonchalance as if re- 
ceiving company in his own elegant mansion in Upper Harley 
Street. My father finding him thus unaffected immediately 
mentioned the occasion of our coming, upon which Daniel 
Perreau readily admitted the ring to be the property of 
Mr. Belliard, but observed that it was not then in his 
possession, Admiral Sir Thomas Frankland having that 
morning insisted, as he was a creditor to a great amount, 



SS6 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

upon its being given up to him, notwithstanding he (Daniel 
Perreau) had most solemnly assured Sir Thomas he had 
no right whatsoever to the ring, which was the sole and 
entire property of Mr. Belliard, and related the manner 
in which he came to wear it. My father being acquainted 
with Sir Thomas Frankland, we drove from the prison to his 
house, and finding him at home, my father with much 
civility related the circumstances attending the ring. Sir 
Thomas, having listened thereto with the utmost attention, 
replied : 

" Well, Mr. Hickey, and this being the case what do you 
conceive ought to be done ? " 

My Father instantly answered : 

" Clearly the ring must be returned to Mr. Belliard as 
proprietor thereof." 

" Humph," said Sir Thomas, " and that's your opinion, 
is it, Mr. Hickey ? Then I must observe I do not think 
your opinion worth two pence. I differ totally, and though, 
no lawyer, Mr. Hickey, I am no fool, and, by God, I'll keep 
the ring, Mr. Hickey." 

My father's choler being raised at the insolent and im- 
pertinent manner in which this speech was delivered, 
warmly and with a considerable degree of contempt re- 
torted : 

"Then, Mr. Admiral, I shall without further scruple 
convince you in a public Court that you are as ignorant 
as unjust, and I will make you pay dearly for your obstinacy 
and impertinence," saying which we quitted the room and 
resumed our seats with Mr. Belliard, who had remained in 
his carriage. 

A legal demand of the ring was made the same day and 
an action of trover commenced, which Sir Thomas de- 
fended in the most determined manner, and after the whole 
process of special pleading was gone through he obtained 
an order for a special jury. The cause came on for trial in 
the Court of Common Pleas, the two Perreaus being brought 
up by Habeas Corpus to give evidence, as was also Mrs. 
Rudd, and several persons of rank who had frequently heard 



SELECTING A CABIN 887 

Daniel Perreau declare the ring belonged to Mr, t Belliard, 
was for sale, and that he only wore it until one of equal 
value, but of a different shape, coidd be procured. The 
fact being clearly established, and not a single witness called 
on the part of the defendant, his Counsel had not a word 
to say, candidly admitting there never was a clearer or 
plainer case, and that they were grossly deceived by their 
Briefs or would not have appeared in such a disgraceful 
cause. A verdict for the plaintiff followed, the noble naval 
Baronet was obliged to relinquish the ring, with nearly two 
hundred pounds expeiiee attending his absurd and obstinate 
attempt to retain it. 

I never was more shocked in my life than upon my enter- 
ing the apartment in Bridewell, and there beholding a man 
who only a few days before I had looked upon with envy, 
as in possession of affluence and every human enjoyment, 
a prisoner whose life would in all probability be soon put 
an end to by the common hangman for an atrocious felony, 
to the perpetual disgrace of himself and family. 

On the day appointed I again went to Bishopsgate Street, 
when Mr. Nesbitt gave me a letter to Captain Paul Surrnan, 
Commander of the ship New Shorekam, whom I found at 
the Jamaica Coffee house. He appeared to be a plain, 
good tempered man ; a strong brogue plainly marked his 
native country Ireland. He told me he had not yet any 
passengers, that I might therefore take my choice of the 
cabins, but he had no doubt plenty would apply before 
his departure. He also informed me that I should see most 
of the West India Islands, as he was to stop at different 
places to deliver goods he had on freight, that the passage 
money to be paid previous to embarking was thirty guineas, 
for which he should supply a table during the voyage. 
He advised me to go on board the ship then laying off 
Eotherhithe, and fix upon acabin. This I did the following 
day, finding her a very fine vessel, between three and four 
hundred tons burthen, elegantly fitted up, and lined 
throughout the after part with mahogany. I took posses- 
sion of the cabin adjoining the principal one, into which it 



338 MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 

opened, having a large scuttle which afforded abundant 
light. 

My father forthwith paid the passage money, and fitted 
me out with his usual liberality. My esteemed and in- 
variable friend, Mr. Edmund Burke, procured for me 
letters of introduction and recommendation to Sir Basil 
Keith, the Governor of Jamaica, Mr. Webley, the Chief 
Justice, Mr. Harrison, the Attorney General, Messrs. 
Welch, Brownrigg, and Baker, Barristers, the last being 
well known under the name of " Billy Baker 3> ; also to 
Messrs. Lyon and Ridge, Attorni.es, besides several gentle- 
men, planters in different parts of the Island. My father 
likewise furnished me with letters to some of his own 
friends, amongst whom were, Mr. Robert Richards and 
Captain Stair Douglas of the navy. 

On the 1st of September 1775 I once more took leave of 
my family, and set out from St. Albans Street for Gravesend, 
where Captain Surman said all his passengers would go on 
board, as he did not intend to anchor in the Downs if the 
wind proved fair for proceeding down Channel, 



INDEX 



Abbesses, Lady, 71 

Adair, Mr., 298 

Addison, Joseph, 308 

Admiralty, 65 

Albemarle, Dowager Lady, 305 

et sqq. + 

Albemarle, Earl of, 303 
Allen, Mr., 93-4 
Angel, The Strand, 65 
Ank&rwykc, E.I.C.8., 242 
Ardley, Mr., 167 
Ascension, Island of, 242 et sqq, 
Ashbumham, E.I.C.8., 141. 212 
Aurora, E.I.C.S., 254 

Baggs, Major, 296 

Bagnell, Captain, 292-3 

Baker, Captain, 141, 204, 229 et tqq., 

259, 260, 279 
Baker, Mr., 319 
Baker, Mr. (Barrister), 338 
Baker, Mr. (of Deal), 94 
Banister, Charles, 119 
Bate, Rev. Mr., 287 et sqq. 
Bath, 69, 79, 13 5.283 ettqq. 
Battersea, 72, 87-8 
Bayley, Mr. Nathaniel 55-6, 60, 67, 

69, 89, 97, 109, 113-14 
Bearcroft, Mr., 323 
Beau (the ship's dog), 116, 154, 

158, 161 

Bedford Coffee House, 71 
Belliard, Mr., 334 et sqq. 
Bengal, 22, 117, 144-5, 173, 179, 

181, 183, 213, 234, 236, 253, 279, 

280, 291, 311 
Berwick Street, 66-7 
Bessborough, Earl of, 302 
Bevan, Mr., 202 
Bigger, Mr. James, 299 
Bishopsgate Street, 332, 337 
Blackall, 47-8 
Blake, Mr., 202 
Blenheim, H.M.S., 189 
Blount, Sir Charles, 48 
Boodle'f Club, 299, 300 



Boulton, Mr,, 131 

Bourehier, Governor, 167 et sqq>, 

met sqq. ^ 

Bourehier, Richard, 130 et sqq., 141, 

168, 177, 181 
Bourke, Mr., 2 
Bow Street, 33 
Bradshaw, Mr, 202, 206, 319 
Brecknock, 296-7 
Brent, 125, 137-8, 251-2 
Brickdale, Mr., 318 
Bridewell, 334 
Bristol, Earl of, 287 
Brown, Captain Ulysses, 295 
Brownrigg, Mr,, 338 
Bucks, The, 119-261 
Bulkeley, Lord, 100 
Bulkeley, Mrs,, 319 
Burford, H.M.S., 7 
Burgess-Girl, 85-6 
Burke, Edmund, 13, 41. 53-4, 302, 

309, 312 et sqq., 330, 338 
Burke, Mrs., 53 
Burke, Richard, 53, 330 
Burke, William, 2, 53, 283 et *qq. , 303 
Hurt, Mr,, 72-3 
Burt, Mrs., 72-3 
Burt, Sally, 72-3 
Byde, Mr., 273 
Byng, Hon. John, 202 
Byng, Hon. Mrs., 262- 3 

Calcutta, 183. 211, 285 

Cane, Mr. William, 28, 45-6, 283-4, 

299 

Canterbury, 136 et tqq. 
Canton, 198 et sqq., 215 
Carhampton, Earl of, 8 
Carnegie, Mr., 227 
Carpenter's Club, 89 
Carvalho, Mr., 205, 212-13 
Catamarans, 186 et sqq. 
Cecil, Captain, 87 
Chaigneau, Messrs. John and 

William, 321 et sqq. 
Chambers, Mr., 233 



339 



840 MEMOIRS OF WltLIAM HICKEY 



Chambers, Robert-, 311 
Champnes, Jr., 119 
Chancery Lane, 57 
Chapman, Mr., 133 
Charing Cross, 25, 109, 138 
Charlotte, Queen of George III, 32 
Charlton, Mr. Francis, 22, 167, 236, 

252-3 

Chatham, 88, 122-3, 285 
Chatham, 172 et sqq. 
Chelsea, 14, 109, 298-9, 327 
Chetwood, Mr., 116 
Chetwood, Mrs., 116 
Chetwood, Ann, 116 
Chetwood, Elizabeth, 116 
Chetwood, Hessy, 116 
Chisholme, Charles, 133, 143-4, 

146 et sqq., 155, 185 et $qq., 196, 

242, 246 

Cholmondeley, Lord, S 
Cholmondeley, Mrs., 283 
Cholmondeley, Robert, 283 
Churchill, Charles, 13 
dapereau, Mr., 102-3 
Clavering, General Sir John, 311 
Clements, Captain, 141 
Cleverly, Mr., 299 
dive, Lord, 144-5, 284-5 
Cocksedge, Mother, 71 
Coffee Houses, 89 
Coggan, Mr., 117-18, 124-5 
Colebrooke, E.I.C.S., 25 
Colebrooke, Sir George, 117, 253 
Coleheme, 114-15 
Colquhoun, Mr., 100 
Cooper, Colonel Charles, 299 
Cooper, Lucy, 126 
Corneille, Mr., 235-6, 239 et sqq. 
Cornish, Sir Samuel, 130, 254-5 
Court, Doctor Demi, 133, 152, 220 

et sqq., 225 
Covent Garden, 33, 49, 71, 86, 89, 

103, 130-1, 324 
Coventry, 285 
Cox, Mr., 271 
Craven Street, 300 
Cricket, Westminster v. JEton, 99 et 

sqq. 

Croftes, Captain, 288 et aqq. 
Croftes, Mr., Charles, 291 
Cruttenden, E.I.C.S., 141, 204 et 

qq., 223, 228 et *qq. t 240, 242, 

258, 271, 279 

Davidson, Alexander, 171-2 
Dawson, Mr., 167-8, 174 et sqq.. 
182 et sqq. 



Deal, IMet&qq. 

De Castro, General, 221 ft $qq. 

Be Grey, William, 1st Baron 

Walsingham, 56 

Denmark, King of (see Frederic V) 
Dennis, Mr., 275 et $qq. 
Dont, Sir Digby, 254 et sqq. 
Deptford, 256-7 
Desaguliers, General, 299, 313 
Devisme, Mr., 202, 204-5, 208 rt 

*qq., 216, 225-6 
Devonshire, Dtike of, 302 
Dibdin, Charles, 119 
Dillon, Hon. Mr., 298 
Dobson, Austin, 308 
Dodd, Mr., 119, 319 
Dolphin, 254 et sqq. 
Dorset, Duke of, 99, 100 
Douglas, Mr. Peter, 121 et sqq., 132, 

144, Utetsqq., 180,214 
Douglas, Captain Stair, 338 
Dover, IMetsqq., 251 
Doveton, Captain, 141 
Drummoiid, Messrs., 9S 
Dublin, 1, 23, 42-3, 60 et sqq. 
Dundas, Mr., 189 
Dunning, John, 1st Baron Ashbur- 

ton, 56 

Du Pro, Mr., 167 
Durand, Mr., 146 et sqq. 
Duval, Dr., 114 
Dyo, Nancy, 47 et sqq. 

Earl of Lincoln, E.I.C.S., 141, 2LO 
East India Company 25, 75, 87, 

115, 117, 124-5, 130, 189, 203, 

284, 330 

East India Co.'s Fleet, 141 
Edwards, John, 28, 66 
Egmont, Earl of, 24, 32 
Elphinstone, Hon. Captain, 141, 

172, 190-1, 218-19 
Elwcs, Mr., G7 
England, Dick, 24-5 
Eton, 49, 2SS 
Euphrates Lodge of Bucks, 119, 201 

Fagan, Mr., 295-6 

FaiTer, Mr., 273, 311 et sqq. 

Ferrers, Earl, 20 

Fielding, Sir John, 71, 277 

Fishmongers' Company, 34-5 

Fitzgerald, George iiobert, 287 

et $gq. t 292 et sqq. 
Fleot Prison, 108 
Fletcher, Sir Robwrfc, 167 
Flett, Mr., 323 



INDEX 



341 



Flying Fish, 149 

Forbes, Mr., 133, 184 

Ford, Mr., 253 

Forrest, Admiral, 263 et sqq. 

Forrest, Arthur, 262, 266-7, 286, 

3356 

Forrest, Mrs., 261 et sqq. 
Forrest, Thomas, 262, 271, 285, 298 
Fortescue, Captain, 213 
Fox, Mr., 267-8 
Francis, Philip, 311 
Frankland, Admiral Sir Thomas, 

335 et sqq. 
Frederic, King of Denmark, 109, 

112, 128 etsqq. 

Frederick, Captain, 271, 276 et sqq. 
Fuller, Mr. Rose, 48 et sqq. 
Fuller, Mr. (jnr.), 48, 50 

Garnbier, Captain, 6, 7, 11, 12, 254 

Gansel, General, 300-1 

Gardelle, 16 et sqq. 

Garrick, David, 258 

George II, 22 

George III, 30 et sqq., 315-16 

George IV (Prince of Wales), 109 

Gerard Street, Soho, 3 

Gillam, Mr., 93 

Qlatton, E.I.C.S., 141 

Globe Tavern, 119 

Glynn, Serjeant, 317 

Goldsmith, Oliver, 30 8-9 

Gordon, Dr., 222, 228 

Gowdie, Surgeon Walter, 133, 141, 

144, 161, 170, 184, 225, 246 
Grady, Mr., 213 
Grafton, Duke of, 129 
Granby, E.I.C.S., 215, 217 
Grant, James, 133 et sqq., 150, 158 

et sqq., 171, 183, 283-4 
Gravesend, 87, 95, 123, 130 et sqq. f 

257, 298-9, 338 
Great Earl Street, 310 
Greentree, Mr., 235, 240 
Grey, Mr., 189, 190 
Grosvenor, Lady, 37, 39 
Grosvenor, Lord, 37 et sqq. 
Grubb, Mr., 35 
Gwydir, Lord, 271 

Haggis, Captain, 181 
Hamilton, Duke of, 271 
Hamilton, John, 5-6 
Hamilton, Mother, 71 
Hamilton, Bhoan (one of the 
" Mohawks "), 273 et sqq,, 309, 310 
Hammersmith, 90 
Z2 



Hampshire, E.I.C.S., 141, 153, 156, 

158 et sqq., 234, 240, 242 et sqq. 
Hampton-on-Thames, 96-7, 99, 105 
Har&wicke, Captain, 141 
Hare, Mr., 276 et sqq. 
Harrington, Mrs., 109 
Harris, Nancy, 12, 33, 66-7, 95 
Harrison, Mr., 202, 206 
Harrison, Mr. (Attorney-General), 

338 

Harrison, 49, 50 
Hartford, Fanny, 90 et sqq., 99, 100, 

109, 121 et sqq., 129 et sqq,, 137, 

261 

Hartley, Mrs., 287 et sqq., 319 
Hastings, Right Hon. Warren, 311 
Hayes, Mr. Samuel, 75, 320-1 
Haymarket, 19, 130 - 
Hayter, Mr. (one of the " Mo- 
hawks "), 273, 309 
Hector, E.I.C.S., 141, 165, 169, 212 
Hernon, Mr., 41 
Hervey, Mr., 5, 6 
Hiekey, Mrs. Joseph (mother of 

William Hickey), I, 3, 8, 11, 12, 

19, 29, 31, 44, 62, 67, 97-8 
Hiekey, Ann, 20, 42, 62, 97, 282 
Hickey, Henry, 3, 13, 23 et sqq., 

62-3, 84 et sqq., 109, 119, 125 
Hiekey, Joseph (father of William 
Hickey), 24 et sqq. t 49, 52, 100, 
105, 131, 233 

his descent, 1 

his career, 1 et sqq. 

the libel against, 5, 6 

his wishes respecting his son 
William, 6, 7, 13 

gains a prize in the State Lottery, 
21 

and William's boyish escapades, 
27 et sqq. 

attends Coronation of King 
George in, 30 et sqq. 

remonstrates with his son Wil- 
liam, 36, 40, 55, 76-7, 88-9, 
98, 110 et sqq. 

Dr. Nugent's treatment of, 42 et 
sqq. 

articles William to Mr. Bayley, 
56 

and Lord Thurlow, 57-8 

Judy White's opinion of, 60 et sqq 

goes to France, 62 

praises William, 68, 77-8 

goes to Bath s 69 

and the suicide of Mr. Nunez, 79 



S42 



MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 



Hickey, Joseph (con*.) 
and Mr. Smith's opinion of his 

son William, 88^9 
his disgust of William's conduct, 

98, 114 et sqq. 
and the death of Mrs. Hickey, 

110 etsqq. 

decides that William should 
enter the East India Company 
as a cadet, 115 et sqq. 
leaves Twickenham, 128 
and William's wish to leave the 

E.I.C.S., 177, 179 
his displeasure at the return of 

William, 251 et sqq. 
attempts to find a fresh appoint- 
ment for William, 254 et sqq. 
returns to Richmond, 261 
visits Bath with William, 283 
and William Burke's invest- 
ments, 284-5 

at last abandons his son, 323 et sqq. 
makes provision for his son Wil- 
liam at the Maltons, 326-7 
sends William to Jamaica, 330 

et sqq. 
and the affair of the Brothers 

Perreau, 333 et sqq. 
Hickey, Joseph (brother of William 
Hickey), 3, 13, 26, 31, 49, 55, 67 
et sqq., 97, 112-13, 119, 127-8, 
252 

Hickey, Mary, 3, 31, 97, 128, 261 
Hickey, Sarah, 20, 42, 62, 97, 283 
Hickey, William 
his birth and parentage, 1 et sqq, 
his nurse's affection for, 3-4 
determines to enter the Navy, 

6-7 

objects to inoculation, 7-8 
death of Mr. Byan, his god- 
father, 9, 10 
his dislike of fat influences his 

career, 11-12 

Nancy Harris's influence on, 12 
goes to Westminster, 13 
his school life, 13 et sqq., 26 
describes the murder of Mrs. 

King, 15 et sqq. 
attends the execution of Earl 

Ferrers, 20 
announces the King's death to 

Westminster School, 22-3 
his account of his brother Henry's 

career, 23 et sqq. 

his early depravity, 24, 33, 47-8 
youthful pranks, 26 et sqq. 



Hickey, William (con*.) - 

adventures on the Thames, 28 

et sqq. 
attends coronation of George 

in, 30 et sqq. 

attends the Fishmongers 4 Ban- 
quet, 34 et sqq. 
removed from Westminster 

School, 36 

describes a fatal fire, 36 et sqq. 
goes to school at Streatham, 41 
takes smallpox, 41-2 
his humorous account of Dr. 

Nugent's treatment of hia 

father, 42 et sqq. 
a tragic love-affair described by, 

44-5 
school life at Streatham, his 

schoolboy escapade, 49 et sqq. 
leaves Streatham, 52 
on Edmund Burke, 53-4 
parental advice to, 55, 68-9, 98, 

115 etsqq., 253, 281 
early legal training, 55 et sqq. 
on Lord Thurlow, 57 
his diplomatic treatment of Lord 

Thurlow and Sir Fletcher 

Norton, 57 et sqq. 
his passion for billiards, 64-5 
meets Nancy Harris again, 667 
falsifies his father's books, 69, 70, 

97 
frequents disorderly houses, 71-2, 

86 
adventures at the Bed House 

Club, 73 et sqq. 

Mr. Smith's undeserved testi- 
monial concerning, 77-8 
goes to Bath, 79 
describes the suicide of Mr. 

Nunez, 80-1 

his temporary reformation, 81 
his experiences in a Drury Lane 

" den," 82 et sqq. 
goes yachting with Mr. Smith, 

87 et sqq. 
his adventure with Fanny Hart' 

ford, 90 et sqq. 

and the Wilkes Riots, 92 et sqq. 
a rowing feat, 95 
attends the Earl of Lincoln's 

regatta, 95 et sqq. 
plays in the Westminster Eleven, 

99 et sqq. 

a drunken adventure, 101 et sqq. 
death of his mother, 110 et sqq. 
again robs Jus father, 114 * #g. 



INDEX 



343 



Hickey, William (eont.} 
preparations aa a cadet in the 

East India Company, 115 et 

sqq. 
takes Fanny Hartford over his 

ship at Gravesend, 121 et sqq. 
attends examination, 124 
farewell parties, 125-6 
attends masquerade at the Opera 

House, 128 et sqq. 
says farewell to his friends, 131-2 
his ship's company, 133-4 
first taste of sea-sickness, 134, 141 
goes to Dover with Bourchier, 

135-6 

a rush for the ship, 138-9 
begins his first voyage, 141 
describes captain and shipmates, 

142 et sqq. 

life on board ship, 149 et sqq. 
goes ashore on Island of Johanna, 

153 et sqq. 
duel between two Hampshire 

cadets, 156-7 

his narrow escape from drown- 
ing, 158 et sqq. 
describes the Masulah boat, 164 

et sqq. 

lands at Madras, 167 
dining at Government House, 

169 et sqq. 

the fencing party, 171-2 
describes terrible gale, 172 et sqq. 
visits an Indian garden, 174-5 
riding on an Arab, 175-6 
desires to leave Madras, 177 et 

m- 

decides to return to England, 

179 et sqq. 
entertainment at Government 

House, 181-2 

tragic ending to a call, 182 et sqq. 
the Catamarans, 186-7 
embarks for China, 187 et sqq. 
stops at Malacca, 190 et sqq. 
describes a terrible storm, 194 

et sqq. 

arrives at Canton, 198 
on the Chinese habits and 

customs, 199 et sqq. 
his quarters in Canton, 202 et sqq. 
first meeting with Bob Pott, 203 

etsqq. 
descriptions of his Canton friends, 

208 et sqq. 
takes a trip with Pott to Wham- 

poa. 223 et sqq. 



Hickey, William (con 
attends Chinese entertainments, 

223-4 

visits interior of the city, 225 
Chinese knavery, 225 et sqq. 
and Pott's suggestion that he 

should leave the Plassey, 229 

et sqq. 

leaves Canton, 233 
lands at St. Helena, 235 
and General Richard Smith, 236 

et sqq. 

leaves St. Helena, 241 
catching turtles, 242 et sqq. 
gale causes accident to, 245 et sqq. 
the smuggler's deal, 248 et sqq. 
lands at Dover, 251 
London gaieties, 251-2 
father's plans for, 253 et sqq. 
and Captain Digby Dent, 254 

et sqq. 

meets the Pott family, 258 et sqq. 
once more takes to the desk, 258 
his friendship with the Forrest 

family, 261 et sqq. 
and the Mohawks, 272 et sqq. 
his friendship with Pott resumed, 

278 et sqq. 
lessons in art from Mr. Malton, 

281-2 
goes to Bath with his father, 283 

etsqq. 
his increasing dissipation, 287, 

310 
curious Bate-Hartley affair, 287 

et sqq. 

takes up sailing, 297 et sqq t 
and Boodle's, 299 et sqq. 
and the absentee tax, 302-3 
and the Horneck affair, 303 et 

sqq. 

the end of the Mohawks, 309 
and the case of Captain Jones, 

312 et sqq. 

London gossip, 317 et sqq. 
his illness through dissipation, 

320 

an old lawsuit, 321 et sqq. 
abandoned by his father, 323 # 

sqq. 
lives with the Maltona by hit 

father's wish, 326 et sqq. 
sent to Jamaica by his father, 

330 et sqq. 

a jovial party at Vauxhall, 334 
and the lost ring, 334 et sqq. 
embarks for Jamaica, 338 



844 



MEMOIRS OF WILLIAM HICKEY 



Hickey, Mr. Thomas, 23 

HinchcliS, fir., Bishop of Peter- 
borough, 22 

Hindley, Mr., 28-9, 99 

Hodgson, Mr., 50 

Holland, Lord, 299 

Hook, James, 119 

Horneck, Mr. (of the Guards), 
280-1, 303 et sqq. 

Horneck, Mrs., 303 et sqq< 

Horton, Sir Watts, 271 

HougUon, E.I.C.S., 285 

Howorth, Mr., 298 

Hudson, Mr., 27 et sqq. 

Hulse, General, 293 

Hunt, 237 et sqq. 

Hyde, John, 311 

Hyde Park, 9 

Impey, Sir Elijah, 311 
Isaacs, Miss, 31 
Isaacs, Mr., 31 

Jackson, Captain, 141 

Jackson, Rev. Mr., 41, 47, 50 et sqq. 

James, St., Westminster, 263 

Jay, Sir James, 266-7 

Jennings, Mr., 101, 107-8 

Jermyn Street, 236 

Johanna, Island of, 153 et sqq. 

Johanna's Prince of Wales, 155 

Jones, Captain, 312 et sqq. 

Jones, Molly, 66, 111 

Jones, Richard, 133, 180 

Jones, Sir William, 153 

Joy, Mr., 26, 28 

Junks, Chinese, 199 

Jupp, Mr., 72 

Keighley, Mrs., 41, 48, 51 
Keith, Sir Basil, 338 
Kew, 34 

Kew Gardens, 109 
King, Mrs., 15 et sqq* 
King, Peter, 163-4 
King, Thomas, 72 
King's Bench Prison, 120 
Kirkman, Alderman, 299 
Knox, Miss, 44-5 
Knox, Mr,, 44-5 

Lake, Viscount, 293-4 
Lambeth, 74, 95 
Lawson, Captain, 213 et sqq. 
Leicester Fields, 15 
Leicester House, 15 
Lemaitre, Stephen Caesar, 311 



Lewis, 49 
Ley, Mr., 323 
Lincoln, Earl of, 95 
Lincoln's Inn, 59, 60, 70 
Little Russell Street, 82, 84 
Littleton, Lord, 288, 292, 297 
Lloyd, Dr., 14, 22, 33 
Lloyd, Robert, 13-14 
Lombard Street, 61 
Lord Holland, E.I.C.S., 182, 213 
Lovely Mary, The, 87-8 
Lowe'a Hotel, 324 
Lowry, Mr., 102, 273 
Lynch, Commodore, 261 et sqq. 
Lynch, Mrs., 261-2 
Lyon, Mr., 338 

Maclean, Colonel, 130 
Macnaghten, John, 44-5 
McClintock, Mr., 185-6, 191, 197- 

8, 202 et sqq., 223, 233, 235, 242, 

247, 251-2, 260 
Maddocks, Mr., 56, 323 
Madras, 25, 117-18, 130, 145, 147, 

163 et sqq., 195, 197, 213, 228, 233, 

253-4, 260, 271, 320 
Magee, Mr., 211-12 
Mahon, Gilly, 24, 125, 318-19 
Maidstone, 88 
Malacca, 190 et sqq. 
Malby's Club, 25 
Malton, Mr. Thomas, 281-2, 327 

et sqq. 

Malton, Mrs., 282, 328 
Manchester, Duchess of, 12 
Marcelis, Anthony, 118 
Margate, 87 

Marjoram's Club, 84 et sqq. 
Markham, Dr., Archbishop of York, 

14, 22, 31, 36 
Harriot, Mr., 175 
Masulah, 187 

Mathews, Colonel, 2 et sqq., 8 
Mattocks, Mrs., 319 
Miles, "Captain," 288 et sqq. 
Millbank, 74 
Milton, Lord, 302 
Mitford, Robert, 273, 299, 319, 320 
" Mohawks," The, 273 et sqq. t 287, 

309 

Molesworth, Captain, 37 
Molesworth, Henrietta, 37 et sqq. 
Molesworth, Lady, 37 et sqq. 
Molesworth, Lord, 37, 100 
Monaon, Colonel, 311 
Morning Post, 290 
Morris, Captain, 172 et *qq. 



INDEX 



Motteux, Mr., 98, 105-8 
Moulsey, 99, 101, 105 
Murchinson, Dr., 291-2 
Murphy's Club, 84, 86, 89 

Nairn, Captain, 182 

Nando's, 57, 59 

Neale, Mr. Pendock, 87 

Nesbitt, Messrs., 332, 337 

Newgate, 18, 300 

Newman Street, 269 

New Shoreham, 332, 337 

Newton, Miss, 101-2 

Nivernois, Due de, 140, 181 

North, Lord, 319 

Northington, Robert Henley, First 

Earl of, 14, 70 
Northington, Robert Henley, 

Second Earl of, 14, 20, 35, 100 
Northumberland, E.I.O.S., 273, 319 
Northumberland, Duke of, 317 
Norton, Sir Fletcher, 56, 59 et sqq., 70 
Nottingham, E.LC.S-, 141, 212, 227 
Nugent, Dr., 41 et sqq., 53, 75 
Nugent, Sir Nicholas, 295-6 
Nugent, Major Walter, 24, 125 
Nunez, Mr., 79 et sqq. 

Oliphant, Mr., 189 
Opera House, 128 et sqq. 
Osborne, Lord Francis, 100 
Osborne, Mr. (one of the Mohawks), 

274, 278, 310 
Osterley, E.I.C.S., 141, 213 

Page, Ann, 3, 4 

Pall Mall, 3, 4, 9, 31, 300 

Panton Street, 19, 252 

Parsloe, Mr., 190, 192 

Pearce, Captain, 141 

Pelhara-Clinton, Lord Thomas, 317 

Percy, Earl, 317 

Perreau, Mr. Daniel, 333 et sqq. 

Perreau, Mr. Robert, 333 et sqq. 

Perryn, Baron, 56, 323 

Phipps, Mr., 202, 224 

Phanix, E.I.C.S., 190 

Piazza Coffee House, 274 et sqq. 

Pigoa, Mr., 202 

Pigot, E.I.C.S., 141, 165 

Pimlico, 109, 110 

Pinnock, Mr., 100 

Pitt, Right Hon. William, 54 

Plassey, E.I.C.S., 118, 121-2, 130 
et sqq,, 140 et sqq., 178 et sqq., 
184 ft tqq. t 194 ft sqq. t 223, 229 
ft sqg. 



Plumer, Hall. 1S5 

Plumer, Sir Thomas, 1|5 

Pocock, Sir George, 13* 

Ponsonby, Mr., 4ft 

Pope, Alexander, 7 

Portsmouth, 11 

Pott, Joseph, 285 

Pott, Mr. and Mrs M 258 et ^.,279, 

280 
Pott, Robert, 204 et sqq., 220, 223, 

227, 241, 258 et sqq., 271, 278 

et sqq., 283, 285 
Powell, Mr., 72 
Prescott, Mr., 273 
Preston, Mr., 324-5 
Prince of Wales Island, 189 et sqq. 
Pritty, Captain, 135 et sqq. 
Pritzler, Mr., 87 
Public Ledger, 290 

Queen Anne Street, 90, 99, 110 
Queensbury, Duchess of, 32 
Queensbury, Duke of, 32 

Radnor, Lord, 28 

Ramus, Mr. George, 100, 283 

Ramus, Henry, 283 

Ranelagh, 72, 91, 273, 326 et sqq. 

Raper, Mr., 202 

Red House Club, 72 et sqq., 95, 261 

Regatta at Hampton, 96 et sqq. 

"Retaliation," Goldsmith's, 308-9 

ReveU, Mr., 202, 204 et sqg., 210-11 

Re veil, Joe, 210 et sqq. 

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 27, 308-9 

Richards, Mr. Robert, 338 

Richardson, Captain, 141, 165 et 

sqq. 

Richmond, 7, 34, 95, 128, 201 
Richmond, Duke of, 314 
Rider, Mr. Jacob, 133 et sqq., 139, 

140, 144 et sqq., 150, 154, 158 et 

sqq., 171, 178-9, 183, 283 
Rider, John, 135-6, 139, 140 
Ridge, Mr., 338 
Bidotto, The, 2 
Roberts, Dicky, 29S 
Robinson, Sir "Thomas, 327-8 
Rochester, 88 

Rockingham, Marquis of, 54, 302 
Rodney, Sir George, 262 
Rogers, Mr., 202 
Rogers, Samuel, 133, 142, J46-7, 

164. 170, 184, 191-2, 213, 225 
Rose, E.I.C.S., 190 
Rrf>ss, Mr. Andrew, 170 
Boss, Cadet, 133-4 



346 



MEMOIRS OF WIL1IAM HICKEY 



Hound House, 276 

Rons, Mr., 2,02, 206 

Koyal Charlotte, E.I.C.S., 141 

Eudd, Mrs., 336 

Rumbold, Mr., G-overnor of Madras, 

145 

Russell, Miss, 318-19 
Ryan, Mr., 3, 4, 9, 10 

St. Albans Street, 1, 23, 41, 50, 66, 

net sqq., 105, 110, 113, 116, 131, 

242, 253, 271, 285, 323, 325, 330, 

333, 338 

St. Helena, 234 et sqq., 253 
St. James's Coffee House, 308 
St. James's Park, 8, 14, 280 
St. James's Square, 13 
St. Martin's Lane, 324 - 
Salter, Colonel, 32 
Samans, 200-1 
Saville Road, 303-4 
Sea wen, Captain, 292 et sqq., 303 et 

sqq. 

Scott, Mr., 7 
Scrafton, Mr., 253 
Shakespear Club, 84, 101, 106, 125, 

311 

Sheffield, Sir Charles, 8, 130 
Skottowe, Mr., 235-6, 239 et sqq. 
Slaughters Club, 72-3, 81, 84, 109, 

324 

Smallwood, Captain, 218 
Smith, Cadet, 134, 156 
Smith, Captain, 141, 153, 155, 161, 

242 et sqq., 285 
Smith, Mr. (actor), 319 
Smith, Mr., 75 et sqq., 86 et sqq., 282 
Smith, General Richard, 167, 178-9, 

234, 236 et sqq. 
Smith, Mr. Loraine, 271 
Smith's Tea Gardens, 298 
" Soup Shop, The," 89 
Speaker, E.I.C.S., 141 
Speke, E.LC.S., 141 
Spring Gardens, 271 
Stables, Mr., 145 
Stacey, Mr., 107 
Stanhope, Lord, 8, 29 
Stokes, Captain, 141 
Streatham, 41, 47 et sqq. 
Strode, General, 321 et t>qq. 
Sturt, Major, 72, 87-8 
Suckling, Captain, 204 
Suffolk, Earl of, 314 
Suffolk Street, 41, 118 
Sullivan, Mr. Laurence, 117, 130, 

253, 284-5 



Sullivan, Mr. Richard, 213-14 
Surman, Captain Paul, 337-8 
Swift, Dr. Jonathan, 308 
Swords, 24 

Symonds, Mr., of Batteraea (se& 
Smith) 

Talbot, 236 

Taylor, Captain, 101, 103 

Taylor, Mr. Waiter, 119 

Teliigory, Mr., 68 

Templer, Mr., 298 

Tetherington, Mr., 24, 62 et sqq., 

84-5, 90, 109, 125-6, 137 
Thames, E.I.C.S., 181 
Thomas, Miss, 31 
Thomas, Mr., 31-2, 92 
Thomons, Murrough O'Brien, Mar- 

quis of, 33 

Thurlow, Lord, 56 et sqq. 
Todd, Captain, 141 
Tonikins, Mr., 102, 126 
Torriano, Mr., 202 
Tothill Fields, 14 
Triton, E.I.C.S., 141, 172, 188, 190, 

212 

Troubridge, Admiral Sir Thomas, 189 
Turnham Green, 102 
Turtle Turning, 242 et sqq. 
Twickenham, 7, 26 et sqq., 44-5, 62, 

81, 98 et sqq., 106, 109, 111, 113- 

14, 116, 128 
Tyburn, 108 

Upper Brook Street, 37 et sqq. 
Upper Ossory, Earl of, 302 

Vansittart, Mr., 253 

Vauxhall Gardens, 110, 287 et sqq,, 

298, 334 

Verelst, Governor, 178 
Verney, Earl, 53, 285 
Vincent, Miss, 101-2, 125 

Waddell, Captain, 118, 130, 132 et 
sqq., 142-3, 146 etsqq., 161 ft sqq., 
180 et sqq., 194, 198, 229, 230, 
233 et sqq., 240 ct sqq., 247 ft sqq. 

Wales, George, Prince of, 109 

Walker, Daisy, 296 

Wall, 24 

Walpole and Co., Bankers, 250 

Walton, 96 

Watts, Edmund. 21-2, 168 

Webley, Mr., 338 

Wedderburn, Alexander, lat E&rl 
of Rosslyn, 56 



INDEX 



Weir, Daniel, 90 

Welch, Captain, 141, 213 

Welch, Mr., 338 

Westminster Abbey,22, SQetaqq., 251 

Westminster School, 13 et sqq., 99, 

106, 283 
Wetherby's, 82 et sqq., 89, 104, 126, 

273 

Weybridge, 95, 97 
Whampoa, 197-8, 201, 212, 215, 223, 

231 

White, Mrs., 60 et sqq. 
Whitehall, 22, 65 
Whitehead, Mr., 72 
Whittle, Mr., 182 
Williams, Captain, 141, 165 
Williams, The brothers, 101 

106, 126 



Wilkes, John, 92-3, 119, 317 

Wilkinson, Bet, 85 

Wiiles, Mr., Solicitor-General, 56 

Willis, Mr., 268 
| Willis, Mr. (bailiff), 310-11 
j Windham, Right Hon. William, 
i 262, 271 

I Windhaxn, Hon. Mrs. William, 262, 
I 266, 271 

Windmill Street, 65 

Wood, Mr., 202, 204, 206, 228, 
231 

Wynne, Sir Watkins Williams, 14, 
100 

ates, Mr. Justice, 169, 331-2 

Hon. Charles, Attorney- 
, 56, 70